Sports 247

NBA News

1. Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets is expected to retire, which could mean that the NBA’s recent Chinese market may be diminishing in the near future. Sports fans on Chinese websites certainly indicated that they would have much less interest in watching NBA games without Ming. Ming was the top overall pick in the 2002 draft and played an impressive first few years but has had numerous injuries which benched him more often than not the past two years. Perhaps the biggest legacy he leaves behind is the international interest he brought to NBA basketball.

2. Are more players looking at their options for playing abroad these days? Devon Williams of the New Jersey Nets is already planning to play in Turkey during the lockout, and while he plans to return to the NBA if the lockout is ended in a timely fashion he has told interviewers that he thinks playing abroad could be an appealing permanent shift for some players. Darius Songaila has also signed on with Turkey and Toronto Raiders Sonny Weems has signed up to play for a year with Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania to avoid potentially sitting out a year due to the NBA lockout. Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls will be playing for France in the upcoming European Championships and will be there for at least for two months.

3. Armen “The Hammer,” Gilliam died while playing a pick-up game of basketball in Pittsburg at the age of 47. Gilliam played thirteen seasons in the NBA. He played for the Phoenix Suns, the Charlotte Hornets, the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Utah Jazz.

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