Yao says he may retire from internationals
Updated: 2004-08-16 06:57
Dejected after another disappointing international basketball performance in
a loss to Spain at the Olympic Games Sunday, China's Yao Ming said he was
considering cutting short his national team career.
into the Olympic tournament with high hopes resting mainly on the broad
shoulders of the 23-year-old 7-foot-6 center.
China's Yao Ming
sits dejectedly on the bench with teammates after fouling out of their
preliminary Olympic basketball game against Spain in Athens, August 15,
2004. Dejected after another disappointing international basketball
performance in a loss to Spain, Yao said he was considering cutting short
his national team career. [Reuters]
But the team, which has enlisted the help of long-time NBA coach Del Harris,
failed badly in its first outing, getting thoroughly outplayed by the Spaniards
in an 83-59 loss.
"I feel so disappointed. I lost all my hopes for this team. We changed our
skin, but we are the same. Just like the world championships in Indianapolis two
years ago," a visibly upset Yao told reporters after the game.
Yao has blossomed into a major international figure since joining the NBA's
Houston Rockets in 2002 and China selected him to carry the flag during the
Olympic opening ceremony.
But team results during Yao's international career have fallen short, with
China finishing a disappointing 10th at the Sydney Games, followed by a 12th
place at the world championship in 2002.
"I didn't play well either. I am thinking about retiring from the national
team. Not now, but soon I will. In Indianapolis I was the youngest player, now I
am an elder, but still there is no hope for us."
China play their next game Tuesday against New Zealand.