In 1967, one of the ABA’s charter franchises was awarded to a group in Kansas City, Missouri headed by Southern California businessman James Trindle. However, Trindle was unable to find a suitable arena in the Kansas City area. League commissioner George Mikan suggested moving the team to Denver. After agreeing to name Denver native and former NBA player Vince Boryla ...
The team’s first year on the court (1967 – 1968) had to be considered a successful one, especially attendance-wise. Unlike other ABA teams, Denver started out very slow at the gate. Only 2,748 fans attended the Rockets’ first home game against the Anaheim Amigos. But, attendance picked up over the course of the season, as Denver residents gradually warmed up ...
After Denver’s playoff defeat at the hands of the Oaks, Denver’s front office knew it had to improve the team’s talent level. The Ringsbys contented themselves (and shocked the basketball world) by signing an undergraduate phenom from the University of Detroit: Spencer Haywood. The 6’9″ Haywood had played only one year of junior college ball (at Trinidad Junior College in ...
Haywood’s spectacular 1969 – 1970 rookie season gave Rockets fans cause for optimism for the 1970 – 1971 season. But, the season turned out to be a disaster for the franchise. In the fall of 1970, Haywood played only two exhibition games for the Rockets (scoring over 40 points in each). After those two games, he bolted the team because ...
History of the Rockets
The Denver Rockets were a professional basketball team from 1967 to 1974. They were part of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and played home games at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado. The Rockets had an impressive run in the ABA, making four consecutive appearances in the ABA Finals and winning two championships and numerous regular season titles.
The team was founded by Bill Ringsby, who owned several trucking companies located throughout Colorado and Wyoming. He purchased one of the new franchises for what would become known as “the other league” – a rival to the established National Basketball Association (NBA). Ringsby chose "Rockets" as his franchise's name because it represented speed - something he felt was necessary for success on both sides of the court.
In 1971-72, led by future Hall of Famers Spencer Haywood and Dan Issel, they captured their first championship after defeating New York Nets 4–2 in seven games series finals game 7 victory over Nets clinched Nuggets' first-ever title while also becoming only second expansion team since NBA started its own separate playoffs format back 1950s to win championship trophy behind Baltimore Bullets who won 1947 BAA Championship Title before joining NBA next year 1948-49 season. In 1972–73 they repeated as champions with another 4–2 series victory, this time over Indiana Pacers which gave them back-to-back titles before folding after 1974 due to financial difficulties caused by poor attendance numbers despite having successful teams on the court throughout the decade-long existence period ending up being one most memorable teams within short-lived yet highly competitive American Basketball Association era which eventually merged into National Basketball League 1976 creating modern-day 30 teams strong organization we know today commonly referred simply just like NBA or more accurately now called National Professional Players' Union.
1976 – Present / National Basketball Association
1967 – 1976 / American Basketball Association
1974 – Present / Denver Nuggets
1967 – 1974 / Denver Rockets
Rockets - The Denver Rockets may not be the most well-known team in the NBA, but they have a rich history and an interesting nickname. The origins of their name date back to 1967, when they were founded as part of the American Basketball Association (ABA). At that time, there was a lot of excitement surrounding space exploration and rocketry. This led several ABA teams to choose names related to rockets or outer space, such as "The San Diego Conquistadors," "Miami Floridians," or even "New York Nets."
In 1967, one of the ABA’s charter franchises was awarded to a group in Kansas City, Missouri, headed by Southern California businessman James Trindle. However, Trindle could not find a suitable arena in the Kansas City area. League commissioner George Mikan suggested moving the team to Denver; Trindle moved his team to Denver as the Denver Larks, named after the Colorado state bird. Trindle sold a two-thirds controlling interest to Denver trucking magnate Bill Ringsby for $350,000. New owner Ringsby renamed the Rockets team after his company’s long-haul trucks.
For Denver's entry into the league, it was decided that Colorado had recently become known for its aerospace industry, with companies like Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) setting up shop in nearby Littleton. It seemed only fitting then that this new professional basketball team should take on a name reflecting this growing industry: The Denver Rockets!
Since then, many sports fans have supported their hometown heroes who proudly wear 'Rockets' across their chests every game night at Pepsi Center. To these loyal supporters, it doesn't matter if you're from Colorado Springs or California; everyone can get behind, rooting for one common goal - seeing our beloved Nuggets soar higher than ever!
NBA Championships 0
ABA Championships 0
1999 – Present / Pepsi Center
1975 – 1999 / McNichols Sports Arena
1967 – 1975 / Denver Auditorium Arena
2014 – Present / Ann Walton Kroenke
2000 – 2014 / Stan Kroenke
1997 – 2000 / Liberty Media
1989 – 1997 / Peter Bynoe, Bertram Lee, and Comsat Video Enterprises
1985 – 1989 / Sidney Shlenker
1978 – 1985 / Red McCombs
1972 – 1978 / Frank Goldberg and Bud Fischer
1967 – 1972 / James Trindle and Bill Ringsby
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
2 / Alex English
12 / Lafayette “Fat” Lever
33 / David Thompson
40 / Byron Beck
44 / Dan Issel
55 / Dikembe Mutombo
432 / Doug Moe
*Blue is this team’s history