5 heartbreaking "what if" moments in Houston Rockets history

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What if Yao Ming had stayed healthy?

Yao Ming was always bigger than basketball. His influence on the game's international sphere cannot be understated.

Still, Rockets fans fell in love with his game as well. A towering 7'6", Ming was an elite post scorer with a feathery touch. He developed a reliable mid-range game, and he was an intimidating rim protector on the other end of the floor.

Unfortunately, Ming struggled to stay healthy. This wasn't your modern Wembanyama 7'6" - Ming weighed around 290 pounds during his playing days. In the end, that was too much size for his lower body to handle.

In the end, Ming managed just 7 seasons in the NBA. He was relatively durable during his first three years, but by the time he was aging into his on-court prime, his body was beginning to fail. Between 2005-06 and 2007-08, he didn't get on the floor for 70 games in a single season.

He did manage 77 games in 2008-09, but then he was forced to miss the entire 2009-10 season. Ming suited up for 5 contests in 2010-11 before he was forced to retire.