Yao Ming, Drazen Petrovic, and NBA Careers That Were Cut Short Way Too Soon

July 9th, 2011 by Jason Heim Leave a reply »
Yao Ming's retirement announcement, necessitated by persistent foot injuries, got me down on Friday. Yao, the 7'6" Chinese tree is both a great person and basketball player, and has helped tremendously to revolutionize the NBA into the global brand that it's become.

His retirement, after eight seasons, is no shock to anyone who follows the NBA closely. He struggled with foot problems throughout his career, missing so many games that he essentially played about six seasons worth of games.

Because of an injury-shortened career, Yao missed out on winning the elusive NBA championship and is likely on the outside looking into the Hall of Fame despite career averages of 19 points, 9.2 points and 1.9 blocks on 52 percent shooting.

His plight got me thinking about others who have suffered a similar fate. Whether by injury, self-destructive behaviors or otherwise, the following is a list of NBA players that never experienced a full and satisfying career or a completed legacy. Indeed, their legacies might be finished, just not with the conclusion they wished. 

Let's take a look back at some NBA greats (or potential greats) whose careers were c ...

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