Report: Yao Ming to retire

One of the NBA's biggest stars is calling it quits.

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is planning to retire, according to a Yahoo Sports report today.

The story, citing anonymous league sources, said Yao informed the league of his decision this week.

Yao became one of the NBA's global pioneers during his eight-year career, leading to an explosion of the game's popularity in his native China. He was so popular that even some of his Rockets teammates netted lucrative shoe deals with Chinese companies.

Yao averaged 19.0 ppg and 9.3 rpg over the course of his career. He played 12 games against the Celtics, averaging 14.8 ppg and 8.3 rpg.