The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Founded in 1967 as the Boston Celtics, the franchise moved to Houston in 1971. In 2002, the name was changed to reflect the fact that the team had relocated from New England. Their home games are played at Toyota Center, formerly known as Compaq Center, and most recently as the Smart Financial Centre. The Rockets play in the Western Conference Southeast Division alongside the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors.
In 1967, Sam Hinkie Sr., owner of the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA, approached Bill Russell about moving his team to Houston. Russell agreed, believing that it would help him prepare for retirement. He bought the expansion franchise and renamed it the Rockets, after himself. The Rockets won their first game against the Philadelphia 76ers in 1968. During their inaugural season, they finished fifth place in the Eastern Conference and lost to the eventual champion Detroit Pistons in six games in the first round of the playoffs. However, they beat the Lakers in the 1969 Finals. After winning two more titles in 1970 and 1972, the Rockets were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers in seven games in 1973.
In 1974, the Rockets traded away star center Elvin Hayes to the Seattle SuperSonics for a package headlined by guard Billy Paultz. This trade is often cited as one of the worst trades in NBA history.
In 1977, the Rockets drafted future Hall-of-Famer Moses Malone with the third overall pick in the draft. With Malone leading the way, the Rockets made the playoffs every year until 1985. That year, however, they fell short of the postseason once again. In 1986, the Rockets signed free agent point guard Mark Jackson, who helped lead them back into the playoffs. In 1987, the Rockets acquired All-Star forward Charles Barkley from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets went on to win three consecutive championships between 1988 and 1990.
The Rockets have been led by head coaches Rudy Tomjanovich, Jeff Van Gundy, and Kevin McHale since their inception. In addition, the Rockets have also employed several other notable coaches including Cotton Fitzsimmons, Jack McMahon, Don Chaney, Paul Silas, Bob Bass, and Frank Layden.
The Rockets’ current general manager is Daryl Morey, who has held this position since 2010. Formerly, he served as assistant GM under Jerry West during the 2000–01 season.
Houston’s mascot is named “Rocket”, which debuted in 1975. Rocket wears a red jersey with white numbers and letters. His uniform features a red nose and a blue mouth. Rocket has a black belt around his waist, which contains a rocket launcher. Rocket is usually seen cheering on the Rockets during games.
The San Diego Rockets are one of four original members of the National Basketball Association. They joined the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1967, and played in the Western Division. During their tenure, the Rockets never finished better than fifth place in their division. Their best finish came in 1971, when they placed second in the Western Conference. They won their division twice, in 1969 and 1970.
After failing to make the playoffs during the 1972–73 season, the Rockets fired head coach Jack McMahon and replaced him with former UCLA Bruins star John Roche. However, the Rockets struggled under Roche, finishing sixth in the Western Conference in 1973–74, and Roche was fired after the season. After the season, the Rockets traded away majority owner Bob Breitbard, who sold his interest in the team to Jerry Buss. Buss would later become co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 1974, the Rockets hired George Karl as their head coach. Under Karl, the Rockets improved greatly, winning 50 games in 1975–76 and 56 games in 1976–77. In 1977–78, the Rockets again reached the postseason, advancing to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics 4 games to 2.
1971–1976: Move to Houston and improvement with Murphy and Rudy-T
The Houston Rockets began play in the National Basketball Association in 1970 under coach John MacLeod. During the inaugural season, the Rockets finished with a record of 16 wins and 46 losses. After a disappointing start, the team improved throughout the year, finishing with a 17–65 record. In the playoffs, the Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in three straight games.
In, the Rockets hired Red Auerbach as head coach, bringing him back to the NBA after spending one season coaching the Boston Celtics. He coached the Rockets to a 56–26 record during his tenure there, including winning the Western Conference regular season championship in. They went on to defeat the New York Knicks 4–2 in the Finals en route to winning the NBA Championship.
After the conclusion of the 1975–76 season, MacLeod resigned as head coach, citing health reasons. Assistant coach Rudy Tomjanovich took over as interim head coach. On May 13, 1976, the Rockets named Tomjanovich as the permanent head coach.
Tomjanovich led the Rockets to four consecutive playoff appearances, including the 1977 NBA Playoffs, where they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals. However, they lost to the eventual champion Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the Western Conference Finals.
During the, the Rockets drafted Elvin Hayes out of UCLA with the third overall pick in the draft. Hayes played alongside Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in what was dubbed “the Big Three”. The trio helped lead the Rockets to a league best 72–10 record and won their second straight NBA Title.
However, the Rockets struggled early in the 1979–80 season, losing eight of their first nine games. Following a win against the San Antonio Spurs, the Rockets faced off against the rival 76ers in Philadelphia. With less than 10 seconds remaining, the Rockets had possession of the ball and were attempting to run down the clock. As the shot clock expired, Sixers guard Moses Malone stole the ball and raced toward the basket. At the buzzer, he threw up a desperation shot, tying the game at 87. The Rockets eventually prevailed in overtime, winning the game 102–100.
With the loss, the Rockets fell to 20–20. They continued to struggle, posting a 9–19 record over the next month. The Rockets fired Tomjanovich on February 25, 1980, replacing him with assistant coach Cotton Fitzsimmons.
1976–1982: The Moses Malone era
The Rockets began play in the NBA in 1967, playing in the old National Basketball Association’s Western Division along with the Los Angeles Lakers, San Francisco Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Kansas City-Omaha Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Baltimore Bullets, Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Cincinnati Royals, Pittsburgh Condors, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the 1975–76 season, the Rockets finally had a home court advantage, moving into The Summit, which became their permanent home. They finished second in the Southwest Division with a record of 55 wins and 27 losses, behind the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets played well enough to make it to the postseason for the first time since 1961. However, they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in five games in the First Round.
During the period, the franchise changed hands several times. In 1972, the Rockets sold the naming rights to the arena to the city of Houston. The name was changed to The Summit, and the Rockets continued to use the facility until 1978.
In 1973, the Rockets traded future Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Elvin Hayes and Cliff Robinson. Hayes went on to win four consecutive scoring championships with the Rockets.
In 1974, the Rockets signed free agent Moses Malone, who averaged 30 points per game during his rookie campaign. The next season, he led the league in rebounding and blocked shots. He won the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award.
Malone helped lead the Rockets to another playoff appearance in 1975, where they fell to the Boston Celtics in six games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
1984–2001: The Hakeem Olajuwon era
Hakeem Olajuwan played 10 seasons with the Houston Rockets, winning five championships and becoming one of the most dominant centers in NBA history. He won the league’s Most Valuable Player award three times and was named All-NBA First Team seven times. His career scoring average of 20.2 points per game ranks fourth among active players.
Olajuwon averaged 21.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game over his first eight seasons with the franchise, including a 22.1 ppg average in 1985–86, when he led the Rockets to the NBA finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4–3. During his rookie season, he finished second in voting for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award behind Michael Jordan.
In 1986–87, Olajuwon became the youngest player ever to win the NBA’s Most Valued Player Award, receiving the honor ahead of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. The Rockets finished the regular season with a 53–29 record, good enough for third place in the Western Conference, and advanced to the conference semifinals against the Seattle Supersonics. They swept the series 3–0, advancing to face the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics took Game One 93–85, but the Rockets rebounded to take Games Two (101–96) and Three (103–100). Boston then defeated Houston in Game Four, 103–99, to eliminate the Rockets from the playoffs.
In 1987–88, Olajuwon led the Rockets to another playoff appearance. After losing the opening round series to the Utah Jazz, the Rockets bounced back to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in the
1987–1992: Lean years
The Rockets finished 27th out of 30 teams during the 1986–87 NBA season, and the following season, 1987–88, they missed the postseason entirely. After one season under interim head coach Rudy Tomjanovich, the Rockets hired John Lucas III as general manager. During the 1988–89 season, the Rockets began a streak of seven consecutive playoff appearances, including three Western Conference finals and two conference championship games. However, the Rockets lost in the second round of the 1989 NBA Playoffs to the Los Angeles Lakers, 4–2.
During the 1990–91 season, the Rockets won the Pacific Division, finishing with a league best 60 wins and earning home court advantage throughout the playoffs. They defeated the New York Knicks in six games in the First Round of the playoffs before losing to the Seattle SuperSonics in the Semifinals. In the offseason, the Rockets acquired All-Star forward Hakeem Olajuwon via free agency. At the conclusion of the 1991–92 season the Rockets had a record of 65–17, winning the Pacific Division again. They went on to defeat the Utah Jazz in six games in the Western Conference Finals before losing to the eventual champion Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
In 1993, the Rockets signed free agent Clyde Drexler and traded away Olajuwon to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Rockets finished third in the Pacific Division with a 58–24 record, and earned the fourth seed in the West behind the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Utah Jazz. They defeated the Dallas Mavericks in four games in the First Round before losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the Semifinals in six games. Following the season, the Rockets traded away Drexler to the Golden State Warriors; he later helped lead the Warriors to the 1995 NBA Championship.
1993–1995: Back-to-Back Championships for Clutch City
The Rockets’ championship drought continued into 1995, as they lost to the Utah Jazz in five games in the Western Conference Finals. However, following the offseason trade of Clyde Drexler to Portland, the Rockets won the NBA Championship over the Chicago Bulls in six games. In the playoffs, Houston defeated the Phoenix Suns in seven games in the First Round, the San Antonio Spurs in four games in the Semifinals, and the Utah Jazz in six games in the Western Conference Final. During the regular season, the Rockets finished with a record of 56 wins and 26 losses. They went 3–1 against the Los Angeles Lakers during the postseason.
1995–2002: Post-championship and rebuilding
The 1995–02 Houston Rockets were one of the most successful teams in NBA history. After winning three consecutive championships in 1994–96, the team struggled to find success without Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, and Michael Jordan. In 2002, the Rockets finished second in the Western Conference, losing out to the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs.
During the off-season, owner Les Alexander hired former San Antonio Spurs coach Jeff Van Gundy. He brought in free agents Shawn Kemp and Otis Thorpe, signed center Sam Cassell, and drafted Yao Ming. However, it took several seasons for the Rockets to reach the postseason again. They missed the playoffs in 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, and 2014–15.
In the summer of 2014, the Rockets acquired Dwight Howard via trade with the Orlando Magic. With Howard leading the charge on offense, the Rockets improved to 55–27, finishing third in the West. They lost in five games to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
After missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season, the Rockets fired head coach Kevin McHale and replaced him with Mike D’Antoni. The Rockets began the 2016–17 campaign with a bang, winning their first eight games, including a 7–0 start. They eventually fell short of reaching the playoffs once again, finishing sixth in the West with a 42–40 record.
For the 2017–18 season, the Rockets added James Harden and Chris Paul via trades with Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, respectively. The Rockets finished 50–32, good enough for fifth place in the West. In the playoffs, they faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round and swept them 4–0. In the second round, they defeated the Utah Jazz 3–2. In the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Rockets lost 2–1.
2002–2009: The Yao Ming era
The Rockets drafted Yao Ming with the first overall pick in 2002. He became the face of the franchise and he was named Rookie of the Year. The team won 48 regular-season games and reached the Western Conference Finals. They lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4–3 in the 2006 Playoffs.
In the off-season, the Rockets saw major changes in the lineup as the team acquired Tracy McGrady in July 2007.
For the next three seasons, Yao and McGrady led the Rockets to playoff appearances. The Rockets played very good basketball during those years. They finished second in the Western Conference twice.
In the 2009–10 season, the Rockets struggled early and fired head coach Jeff Van Gundy. On December 9, 2009, the Rockets traded away McGrady to the Atlanta Hawks for Samuel Dalembert, Jason Terry, Mike Bibby and Acie Earl.
On February 18, 2010, the Rockets announced that they had hired Rick Adelman as their new head coach.
2009–2012: Competitive rebuilding
The Rockets did not miss the postseason in either of the next two seasons, finishing 41–41 in 2010–11 and 43–39 in 2011–12. In both seasons, however, the team finished third in the Southwest Division behind the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.
In 2012–13, the Rockets added James Harden via trade and Dwight Howard via free agency. They went 46–36, good enough for fourth place in the Southwest Division and seventh in the West. Houston lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Harden averaged 23 points per game while shooting 49% from three-point range and 55% overall. He led the league in assists and steals, and he shot 50% from the field, 40% on threes and 90% from the foul line. Harden won his first scoring title and MVP award.
Howard had another excellent season, averaging 18.7 rebounds per game and blocking 2.6 shots per contest. He shot 60% from the floor and 81% from the charity stripe. His offensive rating was 112 and defensive rating was 96.
Harden and Howard helped bring home the franchise’s first ever division championship.
2012–2021: The James Harden era
The 2012–13 season saw the Houston Rockets struggle early on, losing four out of five games to open up the campaign. However, it wasn’t long before the Rockets began winning games again,
and finished the regular season with a record of 56–26. In the playoffs, the Rockets faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Game 7 went into overtime, where the Rockets eventually prevailed,
winning their second consecutive championship.
In the offseason, the Rockets added several key pieces to their roster,
including Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer, and Terrence Jones.
However, the Rockets struggled throughout the 2013–14 season, finishing with a 43–39 record. They failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
During the 2014 off-season, the Rockets re-signed Howard to a 5-year $118 million contract extension.
2021–present: Rebuilding after Harden
The Houston Rockets are entering a brand new era, one where James Harden is no longer the face of the franchise. After signing Chris Paul to a five-year max contract extension, the Rockets traded away their star guard to the Los Angeles Clippers. This led to the team making a number of moves to rebuild around their young core, including trading for DeAndre Jordan, trading for P.J. Tucker, drafting players like Jalen Green and Josh Christopher, and signing free agents like Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Eric Gordon.
The Houston Rockets are one of the most storied franchises in sports history. They’ve won three NBA championships, including the 2017 Western Conference finals against Golden State Warriors. With a roster loaded with talent, the Rockets have been able to compete consistently throughout the league. However, the team hasn’t had much success over the past few seasons. In fact, the Rockets haven’t finished above.500 since 2013–14. This season, however, things look brighter for the Rockets. After finishing fourth in the West during the regular season, the Rockets earned home court advantage in the playoffs thanks to winning the tiebreaker over Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, the Rockets are looking to make some noise in the postseason. Here’s how they got there.
The Houston Rockets began playing basketball in 1967, when they joined the American Basketball Association. In 1968, they became members of the National Basketball Association. The team plays their home games at Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The building opened in 1998.
In 1971, the Rockets played their first game in San Diego, California, where they remained for three seasons. When the franchise returned to Houston in 1974, it played its home games at the University of Houston’s Hofheinz Pavilion. After four seasons there, the team moved into the 5,500-seat Summit Arena, where they stayed for four seasons. In 1979, the Rockets purchased land near the Astrodome, and built a 2,400-seat multipurpose facility called the “Hofheinz Fieldhouse”. This stadium served as the Rockets’ home field until 1995, when the team moved into the 10,000-seat Toyota Center.
The Rockets moved from San Diego to Houston in 1971. They had just played their first season there and needed a new look. So, the Rockets redesigned their uniforms and logos. Their new road uniforms featured a yellow jersey with red sleeves and collar, along with a red cap. The home jerseys were white with a red stripe down the sides, and a blue cap. The Rockets’ first logo showed a rocket streaking across the front of the jersey, with the team name written underneath. In 1973, the Rockets changed their font style to serifed block letters.
The Houston Rockets are one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. They won five championships and reached the finals 10 times during their tenure. Their most famous player is Michael Jordan, who played for the team from 1984 to 1998.
In 1994, the Rockets hired Rudy Tomjanovich as head coach. He had been fired from his previous job as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons. However, he lasted just over a season before being replaced by Jeff Van Gundy.
During the offseason, the Rockets drafted Hakeem Olajuwon with the third overall pick in the 1995 draft. He became an instant fan favorite due to his size and dunking ability.
On October 13, 1995, the Rockets unveiled their mascot. He was named Clutch, a blue and yellow anthropomorphic bird inspired by the San Antonio Spurs’ mascot. His name was chosen because it sounded like “clutch.”
Clutch was designed by artist David Buehrer. He based him off of a picture of a chicken that he found online. He used green felt for the feathers and yellow foam for the body.
He wore a red jersey with white numbers and a black belt. On the front of the jersey, there was a large logo depicting a basketball with three stars surrounding it. A big star was above the number 3 and another smaller star was above the number 0. The Rockets’ colors were represented by the wings and tail of the bird.
His signature move was performing a slam dunk while holding a basketball. This maneuver would become his trademark throughout the franchise’s history.
The Rockets’ rivalry with the Spurs began in 1980, when both teams joined the NBA. The Spurs had been based in San Diego and played in the Pacific Division while the Rockets were in Houston and played in the Southwest Division. Both teams won their respective divisions every year except one. In 1981, the Spurs beat the Rockets in the divisional playoffs, 4 games to 3, en route to winning the championship over the Los Angeles Lakers. After the 1984–85 season, the Rockets relocated to New Orleans and became the Pelicans. They kept the name Rockets for the 1985–86 season, when they again won the Southwest Division, beating the Spurs in the divisional playoffs. The following season, the Rockets lost to the eventual champion Boston Celtics in seven games in the conference semifinals, ending their dynasty.
The Rockets’ rivalry against the Mavericks dates back to the franchise’s inaugural season in 1960. The Mavericks were originally known as the Minneapolis Lakers, playing in Minnesota until relocating to Texas in 1972. They took the name Mavericks in 1976, and remained in Dallas until 1993, when they moved to Phoenix. The Mavericks finished second in the Southwest Division twice during the 1990s, losing to the Rockets in the 1995 Finals and the 1997 Western Conference finals. With the addition of superstar Dirk Nowitzki in 1999, the Mavericks finally broke through in 2002, defeating the Rockets in five games in the Western Conference semifinals. In 2003, the Mavericks defeated the Rockets in six games in the Western Conference finals. During the 2007–08 season, the Mavericks faced off against the Rockets in the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals, where they swept the best-of-seven series 4–0. In 2009, the Mavericks reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2001, but fell short to the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games. Following the 2010–11 season, the Mavericks acquired Jason Kidd and Vince Carter, and went on to win three consecutive championships, including the 2011 NBA Finals, becoming the first team in league history to go undefeated in the postseason. The Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat in 2012, 2013, and 2016. In 2017, the Mavericks clinched their fourth straight playoff berth, marking the longest active streak in the NBA.
Retained draft rights
The Rockets currently do not own a single draft pick that has played outside the NBA since 2000. However, there are several players whose draft rights were retained by the organization, either because they were traded away or because they never signed with the Rockets. These players include:
– James Harden – 1st round, 2009
– Trevor Ariza – 2nd round, 2010
– Dwight Howard – 7th round, 2011
– Chandler Parsons – 3rd round, 2012
– Donatas Motiejunas – 4th round, 2013
– Patrick Beverley – 5th round, 2013
In addition, the Rockets hold the rights to former lottery picks Francisco Garcia and Jeremy Lamb, both of whom were selected in the second round of the 2016 draft.
– what do you think about it?
The NBA retired Shaquille O’Neal’s number “Shaqtin'” on Feb. 4, 2001. He was one of the most popular players ever in the league. But he never actually wore the jersey during his career. In fact, he didn’t even wear the uniform. So why did the NBA retire his number? And what does “retiring” mean anyway? Let’s find out…
I don’t know if I can answer your question but here are some facts about the number retirement:
It is not uncommon for teams to retire numbers. For example, the Chicago Bulls retired Michael Jordan’s #23 in 1998.
Teams may retire numbers because they want to honor someone or because they feel like it is time to move on.
Some people believe that retiring a player’s number means that the team no longer wants him on the roster.
Some people believe that when a player retires his number should be retired permanently.
When a player retires his own number, the team will often give him a special ceremony before the game. This could include having him stand at center court while the entire crowd stands up and applauds.