Yao retiring, but yet to file paperwork

A person with direct knowledge of Yao Ming’s decision says the Houston Rockets All-Star center is retiring.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity, because Yao has not announced his plans. Yao has scheduled a July 20 news conference in Shanghai to talk about his future.

Yahoo! Sports first reported that Yao is retiring after nine NBA seasons. The person says neither Yao nor his representatives have informed the league office of Yao’s decision, and the league says Yao has not filed paperwork that would make his decision final.

Neither the Rockets nor the league are allowed to comment on Yao’s decision because of the lockout.

The 7-foot-6 Yao was the top overall pick in the 2002 draft, but his career was cut short by foot and leg injuries.