LA Lakers Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol Starting 2011 NBA All-Stars? Thank Yao Ming

There is no doubt that Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was once a superstar player. 

Entering the league in 2002 as the No. 1 draft pick, Yao was an instant favorite amongst basketball fans around the world amazed by the agility and skills of this 7'6" player and taken by his humble and self-deprecating demeanor.

In 2003, Yao was voted in by the fans as a starter in the NBA All-Star Game as a rookie, a feat that no other player has accomplished since.

Since then, he had been voted in as the starting center of the Western Conference All-Star team for every season that he's played, as well as been selected as All-NBA for five of those seasons.

Despite missing just two games in his first three seasons, Yao suffered the first of his many foot and leg injuries in the 2005-06 season, forcing him to miss 25 games during the regular season.

In the 2006-07 season, Yao was having his best year averaging 26.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks and was widely considered a league MVP candidate when he again suffered a major injury, forcing him to miss 34 games in the season.

Since then, Yao has had only one healthy year, in the 2008-09 season, missing only five games in the regular season. 

In the playoffs that year, Yao lead the Rockets to their first appearance in the second round by defeating the Portland Trailblazers, despite missing his All-Star teammate Tracy McGrady.

Yao's Rockets then faced off with Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers, winning the first game 100-92 off of Yao's 28 points, and taking the series lead. 

However, Yao suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot in Game 3, taking him out of the series which the Lakers eventually won in Game 7.

It was from this injury suffered against the Lakers in the playoffs that forced Yao to miss the entire 2009-10 season and causing him to...

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