Yao Ming came over to America in 2002 after the Houston Rockets selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. The 7-foot-6 center was only able to play in 486 NBA games due to injuries.
However, Ming made $93,390,336 through NBA contracts, per Spotrac. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016, so it wasn’t such a bad career for Yao.
The first NBA contract Yao Ming signed was his rookie deal with the Rockets. It was a three-year, $12.4 million contract. Ming made $3,858,240 during his rookie season and averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.
Yao made the All-Star team but lost the Rookie of the Year Award to Amar’e Stoudemire.
In his second season with Houston, Ming put up 17.5 points and 9.0 boards. He made $4,147,560, played in the All-Star game again and was well on his way to signing a lucrative rookie-scale extension with the Rockets.
Yao Ming averaged 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds during his third season while making $4,436,880. He eventually signed a five-year, $75 million extension before the start of the 2005-06 campaign.
Yao put up 22.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in 2005-06 and made $5,594,906. That was the final year of his rookie contract.
In 2006-07, Ming made a nice $12,455,000 from the Rockets. He averaged 25.0 points and 9.4 boards in 48 games. Yao followed that season up by averaging 22.0 points and 10.8 rebounds in 2007-08.
During the 2008-09 season, Yao Ming averaged 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds while making $15,070,550. He played in 77 games during the regular season and nine in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Yao broke his left foot against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals. He wound up missing the entire 2009-10 season rehabbing the injury. Ming made $16,378,325 from the Rockets that year.
Yao made an attempt at a comeback during the 2010-11 season. He played in five games and averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds before injuries forced him to call it a career too soon.
Ming retired from the NBA in July of 2011. The Rockets renounced their free-agent exception rights to Ming in December of that year.
Yao Ming finished his NBA career with averages of 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He shot 52.4 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Yao is the seventh leading scorer in Houston franchise history.