BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Yao Ming's retirement from professional basketball has stirred mixed feelings among fans.
"Yao Ming has completed his noble mission which was handed to him by Chinese basketball and his legacy will remain and be remembered forever," posted a micro-blog by Zhou Yong via weibo.com on Wednesday, right after Yao announced his retirement in Shanghai.
"Yao's retirement means the end of an era!" said another weibo.com user Jiang Xiaojun.
In his 14 years as a Chinese national team player and nine years as a Houston Rockets center, the 30-year-old has never won a world title or NBA crown, but that fact never hurts his image as one of the greatest basketballers in the world.
"Forget that Yao has never won a trophy. Every step he took on court, every point he scored and every achievement he made are gold gilded," said sina blogger Wayenhu. "Yao's success is unprecedented and he is unreplaceable."
More fans chose to express thanks to Yao at the moment when the 2.26-meter former NBA All Star announced to hang his boots.
"First of all, I want to congratulate Yao on his successful career in NBA and Chinese basketball; Secondly, I want to give all my best wishes to him for a brighter future; And at last and for the most important, I want to thank Yao for all laughs, tears and emotional moments that he brought to us," wrote a micro-blogger named "Eleven Senses".
"Yao's leaving, but basketball games are still on. Let's wish a new NBA season for the Houston Rockets and a better future for the Chinese national team without Yao as a leader," added the blogger.
"I appreciate Yao's spirit. He's brave, steel-minded and has a big heart. Yao will always be my role model no matter what he's doing," said Luo Genwang, a weibo blogger.
"Yao's retired, but he is not away. He is just taking a break.
Let's expect more from Yao," said a website user nicknamed "Better Man".