Bryant hails ‘retiring’ Yao
Kobe Bryant yesterday hailed fellow NBA superstar Yao Ming for the Chinese giant’s contribution to basketball amid reports the Houston Rockets centre would soon retire.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Bryant, in the Philippine capital on the first stop of a three-nation Asian tour, said he had not heard from Yao about his supposed retirement but said the 30-year-old’s legacy to the sport was enormous.
“His contributions to the NBA cannot be overstated. He is such a huge man and on top of that, he is a phenomenal player,” Bryant said.
“We were talking about his injuries but when he was playing and he was healthy he was dominant in the NBA,” said Bryant, a five-time NBA title-winner himself.
The 2.29-metre Yao, the first Asian superstar of the NBA, is reported to have told the Rockets and the NBA that he had retired after injuries limited his playing in the past two seasons.
In Manila, Bryant did some promotional work for one of his major sponsors while meeting with poor Philippine children and local players.