Since moving to Houston in 1971, the Houston Rockets have been one of the NBA’s most prominent teams. This franchise boasts a pair of NBA Championships, along with consistent playoff appearances. Hakeem Olajuwon leads most of the Rockets’ team stats, but other all-time greats, like James Harden and Moses Malone, have called this franchise “home” throughout their careers.
Houston, in recent years, is in a state of rebuilding. This means the team will be an underdog on the NBA odds. If their prospects pan out, the team will once again be a contender. In the meantime, backers need to stay patient and manage expectations with the franchise.
Team Ranked Stats
Houston Rockets All-Time Records
Hakeem Olajuwon, 26,511
Houston Rockets Stats & Team History
The Rockets debuted in the NBA as an expansion franchise based in San Diego. In its brief stay in the city, the team made one NBA playoffs appearance and featured Elvin Hayes and Rudy Tomjanovich. When the franchise relocated to Houston, Hayes was traded due to his conflicts with the coaching staff.
Houston later acquired Moses Malone, who would go on to win a pair of MVPs with the team. The Rockets, despite not winning more than 47 games during Malone’s era, had playoff success. Most notably, Houston made the NBA Finals in 1981 despite finishing with a 40-42 record in the regular season.
Malone left the team in 1982 and Houston tanked. This allowed the team to pick first overall in two consecutive drafts. It selected Ralph Sampson and then Olajuwon. The “Twin Towers” led the young Houston team to an NBA Finals appearance in 1986.
Sampson was traded after injuries slowed him down, while the team built around Olajuwon. In 1992, Tomjanovich joined the team as the new head coach. Olajuwon had a career season in 1993-94 where he won the MVP, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year, as Houston captured its first NBA Championship.
The following season, former Trail Blazers superstar Clyde Drexler joined the team. The Rockets, despite being a six-seed, repeated as NBA Champions. As of 2022, they remain the lowest-seeded NBA team to win a championship.
Drexler retired shortly after, and even with the additions of Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen, Houston didn’t advance past the Conference Finals. The team declined enough to win the first overall selection in 2002. True to its history, the Rockets selected Yao Ming.
The Rockets paired Yao with several stars like Steve Francis and Tracy McGrady. However, the team advanced past the first round just once under their leadership. Houston had to rebuild again when injuries forced Yao to retire.
The franchise acquired James Harden, who would go on to dominate the Houston Rockets’ team stats en route to an MVP. Mike D’Antoni joined the team as head coach in 2016. Superstar point guard Chris Paul joined in 2017, but was then traded for Harden’s old teammate, Russell Westbrook in 2019.
However, the Rockets could not make it past the Conference Finals. The Golden State Warriors, in particular, eliminated them three times. By 2020, a disgruntled Harden forced his way out of Houston.
The Rockets have since tried rebuilding around second-overall pick Jalen Green. Houston now stands as a young and promising team, although being a serious contender still appears to be far away.
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