Houston Rockets

HoustonSan Diego RocketsRocketsSan DiegoSan Diego/Houston RocketsHouston RocketSan Diego / Houston Rockets Houston Rockets Columbus RiverdragonsHouston (basketball)
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston.wikipedia
2,583 Related Articles

Southwest Division (NBA)

Southwest DivisionSouthwestSouthwest Division title
They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division.
The division is located in the South Central United States and consists of five teams, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, the Memphis Grizzlies, the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs.

1968 NBA draft

19681968 draftdraft
In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets were awarded the first overall pick and selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season.
The San Diego Rockets won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Baltimore Bullets were awarded the second pick.

Downtown Houston

DowntownDowntown Houston, Texasdowntown district
The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in Downtown Houston.
Two major professional sports venues, Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center, are home to the Houston Astros and Houston Rockets, respectively.

Western Conference (NBA)

Western ConferenceWestWestern
They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division.

1980–81 NBA season

1980–811980–81 season1981
During the 1980–81 season, the Rockets finished the regular season with a 40–42 record.
The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Akeem OlajuwonDream ShakeHakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon
In the 1984 NBA draft, once again with the first overall pick, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would become the cornerstone of the most successful period in franchise history.
From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors.

1984 NBA draft

19841984 draftNBA draft
In the 1984 NBA draft, once again with the first overall pick, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would become the cornerstone of the most successful period in franchise history.
The Houston Rockets won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Portland Trail Blazers, who obtained the Indiana Pacers' first-round pick in a trade, were awarded the second pick.

National Basketball Association

NBANBA.comBasketball Association of America
They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division.
From 1966 to 1968, the league expanded from 9 to 14 teams, introducing the Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), San Diego Rockets (who relocated to Houston four years later), Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns.

Kevin McHale (basketball)

Kevin McHaleMcHalehimself
They would lose in six games to the 62–20 Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and future Rockets' head coach Kevin McHale.
He was the head coach of the Houston Rockets from 2011–15, until being fired following a 4–7 start to the 2015–16 season.

Expansion team

expansionexpansion franchiseexpansion teams
The team was established in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego.

Moses Malone

Malone, MosesMoses E. Malone
The Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record for almost a decade until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for All-Star center Moses Malone.
He landed in the NBA with the Buffalo Braves, who traded him after two games to the Houston Rockets.

1994–95 NBA season

1994–951994–95 season1995
During the following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets—in their fourth NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
The season ended with the Houston Rockets defeating the Orlando Magic 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals to be crowned champions.

Rudy Tomjanovich

R. Tomjanovich
Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history.
Rudolph Tomjanovich Jr. (born November 24, 1948) is an American retired basketball player and coach who lead the Houston Rockets to two consecutive NBA championships.

1981 NBA playoffs

1981First RoundConference Semifinals
Despite their losing record, they qualified for the playoffs.
The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

Clyde Drexler

Clyde "The Glide" DrexlerClyde “The Glide” DrexlerDrexler
During the following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets—in their fourth NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Nicknamed "Clyde the Glide", he played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), spending a majority of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers before finishing with the Houston Rockets.

Ralph Sampson

Ralph Jr.Sampson, Ralph
Paired with 7 ft Ralph Sampson, they formed one of the tallest front courts in the NBA.
The NBA Rookie of the Year, Sampson averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets before injuries began to take their toll.

James Harden

The acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s.
James Edward Harden Jr. (born August 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Yao Ming

Colin PineYaoYao Meng
The Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries.
Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980) is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Daryl Morey

The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics (similar to sabermetrics in baseball) in player acquisitions and style of play.
Daryl Morey (born September 14, 1972) is an American sports executive and a general manager of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

NBA Finals

NBA championshipNBA championshipsFinals
Led by Malone, the Rockets stunned the entire league by making their first NBA Finals appearance in 1981, becoming only the second team in NBA history to make the NBA Finals with a losing record.
They met the Houston Rockets in the 1981 Finals, practically single-handedly carried by Moses Malone, who upset the Lakers and Johnson in the first round.

Seattle SuperSonics

SeattleSuperSonicsSonics
The Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. The team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics, then built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, and college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first ever draft pick was Pat Riley.
The team got their first win on October 21, their third game of the season in San Diego against the San Diego Rockets in overtime 117–110, and finished the season with a 23–59 record.

1967 NBA expansion draft

1967expansion draft1967 expansion draft
The team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics, then built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, and college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first ever draft pick was Pat Riley.
The draft was held on May 1, 1967, so that the newly founded San Diego Rockets and Seattle SuperSonics could acquire players for the upcoming 1967–68 season.

Boston Celtics

BostonCelticsBoston Celtic
They would lose in six games to the 62–20 Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and future Rockets' head coach Kevin McHale.
The Celtics went on to win the 1981 NBA Championship over the Houston Rockets, with Maxwell being named NBA Finals MVP.

Tracy McGrady

[Tracy] McGradyMcGradyT-Mac
The Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries.
In 2004, he was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he paired with center Yao Ming to help the Rockets become a perennial playoff team.