Heading to HoustonCoached by Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 57–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season. Because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, and in 1971, Texas Sports Investments, which was led by real estate broker Wayne Duddleston and banker Billy Goldberg, ...
New Owner Leslie AlexanderAlexander bought the Rockets in July 1993 for $85 million. In his first two seasons as the owner (1993 – 1994 and 1994 – 1995), the Rockets won back to back World Championships anchored by Hall of Fame Hakeem Olajuwon. The Rockets have the 2nd highest win percentage in the NBA across Alexander’s reign as the owner (#1 Spurs). In ...
NBA Finals Winner 1994NBA Finals – 1994 The 1994 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1993 – 1994 National Basketball Association season, featuring the Western Conference’s Houston Rockets defeating the Eastern Conference’s New York Knicks. This matchup was Hakeem Olajuwon’s second NBA Finals series appearance, his other being in 1986, where Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets ...
NBA Finals Winner 1995NBA Finals – 1995 The 1995 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1994 – 1995 NBA season. The series pitted the Orlando Magic against the Houston Rockets. The pre-series hype and build-up of the Finals were centered on the meeting of the two centers Shaquille O’Neal of the Magic and Hakeem Olajuwon of the Rockets. Going into the ...
Toyota Center OpensToyota Center is an indoor arena located in downtown Houston, Texas. It is named after the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota. The arena is home to the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander first began to request a new arena in 1995 and attempted to release the Rockets from their lease at The Summit, which ran ...
History of the Rockets
The Houston Rockets are an iconic NBA franchise with a long and storied history. Founded in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets, the team moved to Houston in 1971 and has been known as the “Rockets” ever since. The team was one of four expansion teams that joined the NBA in 1967, along with fellow Texas-based franchise, the San Antonio Spurs. Over 50 years, the Rockets have established themselves as one of basketball's premier franchises—winning two championships (1994 & 1995) and appearing several times more in post-season play.
In the 1994–95 season, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, who was named MVP for both seasons, they won back-to-back titles against Orlando Magic led by Shaquille O'Neal, becoming only 5th team to win consecutive championships after Boston Celtics(1959–66), Los Angeles Lakers(1982–85). In 2018 James Harden became the first Rocket player to receive an MVP award while also leading his squad into Western Conference Finals, where they lost 4:3 against Golden State Warriors despite being down 3:2 at some point during the series, making it the most successful run since the 1995 title-winning campaign.
Today under General Manager Daryl Morey's leadership, the Rockets continue pursuing another championship. This could soon be possible with stars like Russell Westbrook and James Harden on the roster. They also possess a strong supporting cast around them, which is essential for any deep playoff run, so there is no reason why this goal can't become a reality sooner rather than later if all pieces fall into place correctly!
San Diego – Houston
1967 – Present / National Basketball Association
1971 – Present / Houston Rockets
1967 – 1971 / San Diego Rockets
Rockets – The Houston Rockets have been a staple of the NBA since 1971, and their nickname has become synonymous with basketball fandom. But where did this iconic moniker come from?
The answer may surprise you: it was inspired by the famed astronaut and Texas native General Robert H. Goddard! In 1965, the team’s original owner Les Alexander chose to honor General Goddard for his pioneering work in rocket science and space exploration. The name “Rockets” was chosen as an homage to both him and his accomplishments – making them one of only two teams in professional sports named after a person (the other being the Los Angeles Lakers).
But there's more to this story than just honoring an individual; rockets also represent speed and power - two qualities that embody what it means to be part of Houston's proud sports tradition. With their fast-paced offense on full display every night at Toyota Center, fans can feel like they're watching history unfold before their eyes - just like how General Goddard forever changed our understanding of outer space! From its humble beginnings over 50 years ago, today, "Houston Rockets" is now recognized worldwide as one of the most successful franchises in all professional sports leagues.
So next time you're cheering on James Harden or Chris Paul at Toyota Center or wherever your favorite Rocket plays, remember why we call them what we do – because no matter who puts on a jersey for Houston each season, they will always strive towards greatness with same level energy & passion as those first brave astronauts into outer space!
NBA Championships 2
2003 – Present / Toyota Center
1975 – 2003 / The Summit
1971 – 1975 / Hofheinz Pavilion
1967 – 1971 / San Diego Sports Arena
2017 – Present / Tilman Fertitta
1993 – 2017 / Leslie Alexander
1982 – 1993 / Charlie Thomas
1980 – 1982 / Gavin Maloof
1979 – 1980 / George J. Maloof, Sr.
1976 – 1979 / Kenneth Schnitzer
1975 – 1976 / James Talcott Incorporated
1973 – 1975 / Irvin Kaplan
1971 – 1973 / Billy Goldberg, Wayne Duddlesten, Mickey Herskowitz
1967 – 1971 / Robert Breitbard
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.
11 / Yao Ming
22 / Clyde Drexler
23 / Calvin Murphy
24 / Moses Malone
34 / Hakeem Olajuwon
45 / Rudy Tomjanovich
CD / Carroll Dawson
*Blue is this team’s history