Shane Battier

Rockets retiring Yao Ming's No. 11 jersey

The first time Yao Ming ever watched an NBA game as a young boy in China, he wondered why there were jerseys hanging in the rafters.

"The cameras randomly gave a shot of the retired jerseys," Yao said. "I slowly realized over time that's the highest honor a player can achieve for themselves and for the team. I will always ask myself, 'What is the story behind it?' I hope people see the jersey there and remember the story. Not just myself, but my teammates, my opponents, we put a story together."

The Rockets are set to retire Yao's No. 11 jersey in a halftime ceremony Friday night when they host the Chicago Bulls.

A 7-foot-6 center from Shanghai,...