Yao Ming was drafted first overall by the Houston Rockets back in 2002, and despite being a 7'6" phenomenon, nobody knew back then just how much the Chinese star would influence the franchise.
More than that, he did it in nine years, the last few of which were blighted by foot injuries.
Ming was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame only a few weeks ago, but since then, the only franchise he ever played for have planned to honour the star themselves.
Next February when the Rockets take on the Atlanta Hawks, Ming's No. 11 jersey shall be retired and the pivot will join some pretty names in the Toyota Center rafters.
He joins fellow Rockets Hall of Famers Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon as players to have their jerseys hung from the rafters, however, the big man can't believe his dream has happened so soon.
"Jersey retired?" Yao said at a news conference officially announcing the event. "It just happened too soon. It's something I couldn't have dreamed of. I appreciate everything Houston did for me, the opportunity to come over here and play.
"I said it before, but so many nights when I walked through that court or played on that court, I looked up to those jerseys and thought, 'Those jerseys are the spirit of the team of Houston,'" Yao said. "Those jerseys are honored, and those jerseys are motivation ... I would be honored to continue."