BEIJING (AP)—Houston Rockets center Yao Ming says he hopes to continue playing for Houston after his contract expires this summer.
Yao says his priority is recovering from the stress fracture to his left ankle that kept him out of all but five games this season. He told reporters in his hometown of Shanghai on Thursday that he hopes to begin workouts once he returns to the U.S.
Yao says his professional future depends on his injury and the outcome of talks between the NBA and its union over a new collective bargaining agreement.
He says he wouldn’t consider moving if conditions offered by another team were similar to those given by the Rockets.
With Rick Adelman’s departure this week, Houston is searching for a third coach since 2003.