Established in 1967, the Rockets are one of the more storied franchises in the entire NBA. They boast the league’s most decorated international player of all time in Hakeem Olajuwon. They have 2 titles, 8 conference finals appearances, and four different Rockets players have won the MVP award. With all of this history, there are plenty of players to choose from when crafting an all-time team.
PG: James Harden
Look, plain and simple, Harden is the second best Rocket of all time. He took them to two conference finals, won an MVP, led the league in scoring, led the league in assists, and was just an all around dominant player.
SG: Clyde Drexler
Clyde only played two and a half seasons in Houston but was still a two time all star, one time champion and eventual hall of famer. A University of Houston alumnus, he already had city roots when he got here and immediately was a contributor for a ring. He absolutely deserves his spot and the fact that his jersey is hanging in the rafters of Toyota Center proves it.
SF: Tracy McGrady
Three time Houston Rockets all star, franchise player over that time as well. While Houston never got him at his peak due to injuries he absolutely was a phenomenal talent who makes the Houston faithful extremely happy to follow. A deserving Hall of Fame selection for him warms our hearts.
PF: Hakeem Olajuwon
The ultimate competitor. Hall of Fame big man Hakeem took the Rockets to three finals as their best player and won back to back championships in 95 and 96. A top 10 talent of all time and one of the most special players to ever play the game of basketball, not just in the city of Houston. The best Rocket of all time it’s no wonder his jersey is retired.
C: Moses Malone
Houston’s only two time MVP. Moses is one of the most dominant rebounders in history. Joining the ABA directly out of High School and taking some time to get footing after the merger he found a home in Houston and eventually won a ring in Philly after leaving. His number hangs in the rafters and he deserves a spot as a starter just as he deserves his induction in the Hall of Fame.
C: Yao Ming
Eight time Rockets all star, the gigantic Chinese big was the player in Houston for almost a decade. His career ended early due to injury but he was absolutely able to put up a career that left his jersey enshrined in the rafters and got him into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
SF: Rudy Tomjanovich
More so known as the coach for the Rockets in their back to back championships in the 90’s sometimes people forget that Rudy was a 5 time All Star. Inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach Rudy-T is the real deal. His number is also retired by the team.
PG: Chris Paul
Chris Paul only played two seasons in Houston and injuries caused him to miss the All Star game in both years. However he was a key piece in some deep playoff runs for this team and was instrumental in building the winning culture of those teams. Already a first ballot hall of famer before he got here it’s heartening to see him have continued success elsewhere.
PF: Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes was a staple of the Rockets teams in the 70’s. One of their first stars that the team had. He would eventually win a ring with Washington and be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
C: Dwight Howard
Dwight’s Houston tenure was marred by injuries and some in fighting between him and star James Harden but he was still a dominant force who made an all star team and a Conference Final.
PG: Calvin Murphy
The Rocket’s first ever all star. Retiring as the shortest all star ever, Calvin made the Hall of Fame and continues to work as a studio host for Rockets broadcasts.
PG: Steve Francis
The carry over from the Hakeem era to the Yao era. “Stevie Franchise” made three all star appearances in Houston before being the main piece traded to Orlando for McGrady. Eventually making a short return to the Rockets as well later in his career. We will always remember him fondly for his aggressive dunks and swagger.
PF: Ralph Sampson
Hall of Famer and member of the Twin Towers. Sampson paired with a young Olajuwon to take the Rockets to a finals appearance in the mid 80’s. Injuries and a trade from Houston cut his career short but he was still a phenomenal talent.
PF: Charles Barkley
Some people forget that after winning an MVP and making the finals with Phoenix Barkley headed to Houston. Unfortunately injuries ended his career early but not before he made an all star appearance and helped lead the rockets to a conference finals.
SG: Vernon Maxwell
Mad Max was one of the most memorable parts of the 90’s championship teams. We will always remember him for those games and for the fact that he’s one of the most supportive Rocket’s fans on social media (that may just coincide with his hatred for Utah though.)
PF: Luis Scola
Scola played five years in Houston and for most of that was Yao’s best running mate.
PF: Otis Thorpe
Thorpe won a ring in Houston and managed to make an all star appearance during a year he filled in at center for Hakeem while he was hurt.
10-Day COVID Hardship Exemption
(Ok, I know this is a cop out but I love the Chuck Wagon so he’s making this team!)
C: Chuck Hayes
THE HEART AND SOUL OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOUSTON ROCKETS! Chuck Hayes is the epitome of innovation and not caring what conventional wisdom says. A 6’6” Center who was probably the best player for the team during the team’s longest winning streak in franchise history.
Training Camp Cuts: (Honorable mentions)
SG: Cuttino Mobley- Mobley played six seasons for the Rockets, peaking as a 21 points per game scorer in 2002.
SF: Shane Battier- A lead member of “the streak” and the key role player of the T-Mac and Yao era. Battier was a figure who won’t be forgotten in Rockets history anytime soon.
PG: Kenny Smith- He helmed the ship for back to back titles in the mid 90’s. It’s a testament to how much star power that this team has had in the fact that he’s been cut here.
SF/PF: Robert Horry- Almost immediately his career began with the Rockets going for back to back titles. The move to insert him as a three point shooting power forward to give space against the Shaq and Penny Magic was the first true successful use of a “stretch four” in an NBA championship environment shaping what is now the expected skillset for the position.
SF: Jack Marin- Jack had a quick coup of coffee with the Rockets in the 70’s but did manage to make an all star appearance so he got a training camp invite.
SF: Don Kojis- Back to back all star nods from when the team was still in San Diego are enough for fans to remember Don fondly.