Shaquille O'Neal explains when he first heard Yao Ming speak English

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Yao Ming is without doubt China's biggest export in the world of basketball. The center spent nine years with the Houston Rockets and earned himself a devoted fanbase in the state of Texas and his home nation.

He had many battles with Shaquille O'Neal during his career, and while The Diesel often got the better of his opponent, Yao earned the respect of the most dominant big man of the modern era.

As both retired legends entered the Hall of Fame as first-ballot entrants this year, they have been looking back on their storied careers, and the four-time title-winning former Laker recalled the first time he heard Ming speak English.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, The Big Aristotle said: "He hit me with a Hakeem Olajuwon move. I said, 'Nice move.' He said, 'Thanks my brother.'"

During his career with the Rockets, Yao wasn't one for the spotlight, but when he did speak to the media he showed a brilliant sense of humour.

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Ask any of his former teammates and they will say the eight-time All-Star is one of the nicest and funniest people around, and it speaks volumes about his character and what he brought to the game during his time on the hardwood.

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