Updated: 2011-07-21 08:04
"Yao Ming, hello (in Chinese), my brother, it's Shaq. You are China's greatest player and among this era's greatest players. I will miss you now, let's go on holiday together, you and I."
Shaquille O'Neal, NBA all-star center
"He did so much for the game, and he does deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. He was so dominant in the game, and he changed the game just by running up and down the floor."
Kevin Durant, NBA all-star forward
"Yao has been troubled by injuries for several years, and he was forced to make the decision. It's unfortunate and a great loss for Chinese basketball. His retirement will have a big effect on China's play in the Asian Championships this year and next year's London Olympics."
Wang Zhizhi, Yao's national teammate
"His contribution to the NBA has not been exaggerated. He is a giant and was among the league's leading players. He was a phenomenal player. We've been talking about his injury problems, but when he appeared on the court healthy, he was a dominant player. In terms of opening up doors for Chinese basketball players to come to the NBA, or for the youth here in China to believe that it's possible to achieve the dream of being an NBA player, all that started with Yao."
Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers all-star guard
"I was saddened to hear the news today about Yao Ming announcing his retirement for the simple reason that he loves the game of basketball and he did not get the chance to realize his potential. Yao is one of my all-time favorite teammates and people."
Shane Battier, Former Houston teammate
"Sad day for the NBA. Sad day for basketball around the globe. My teammate and great friend Yao Ming is retiring."
Tracy McGrady, Former Houston teammate
"By now everyone has seen the news that Yao has retired. The NBA is losing a great star. To be honest, I do not want to believe it's a truth unless I am told by Yao himself."
Bob Donewald, China's national team coach
"We all hoped he could play for a bit longer. He should have been in his prime time at present. His injuries forced him to face the reality. If he decides to retire now, I totally understand and there are so many things Yao can do in retirement, such as training teen players."
Li Qiuping, Yao's former coach in Shanghai
'I am really sorry, but I am not surprised. The last time (he was injured) he took a long time to come back. He suffered too much and today is a sad day."
Rick Adelman, former Rockets coach
"He was very important. Everyone wanted to see him, and he made us better. "
Chuck Hayes, Yao's teammate at the Rockets
"People should not forget how great Yao Ming was, or his humor, wisdom and technique. Although plagued by injuries, he was a great player."
Jeff Van Gundy, Former Rockets coach