The History of Houston Rockets Professional Basketball Team
The Houston Rockets are an American Professional basketball team established in the year 1967 and based in Houston Texas. The team competes in the NBA (National Basketball Team) league as a member club of the Western Conference Southwest Division. The Houston Rockets team was founded as a San Diego Rockets which was an expansion team originally based in San Diego, California. Later in the year 1971, the team moved to Houston, Texas, with a new name Houston Rockets. Today the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center which is located in downtown Houston.
The early Rockets team was led by a pair of great players; Elvin Hayes
, a University of Houston Star, and Rudy Tomjanovich, who later coached the team for 12 seasons.Things were not always good for the team They managed to win just 15 games during their first season. The Rockets would not be held back from obtaining a playoff berth for long though. The Rockets turned around the story of their franchise with one draft pick. Elvin Hayes was picked first overall by the Houston Rockets in the 1969 NBA Draft. After drafting Hayes the Rockets were on their way to success.
In just their first season after drafting Hayes the Rockets managed to make the playoffs. He was later used as trade bait to obtain the legendary Moses Malone. While Moses Malone was on the Rockets he became one of the best players in the NBA. He managed to win the “Most Valuable Player” award twice while he was in Houston. In just his first season as a Rocket, he led the team all the way to the Conference finals.
By 1981, the Rockets team was among the elites of the league. Moses Malone managed to take the team all the way NBA Finals, where to face Boston Celtics. This was actually the first NBA finals appearance of the team in the franchise history. Sadly, the Bolton Celtics were too powerful for Rockets. The team lost to the Celtics in six games. Malone left the team in the year 1982 leaving the team hanging on a cliff in his absence.
However, in 1984, the Rockets drafted yet another great player, Hakeem Olajuwon, another alumnus of the University of Houston. Olajuwon became the face of the franchise and together with another top player, Ralph Sampson, lead the team to another NBA finals appearance where again were not spared by Bolton Celtics. Although Rockets continued to qualify for the postseason throughout the 1980s, they never advanced to second round of plays for the whole decade.
In 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, the team managed to win back to back NBA titles while led by Olajuwon and other key players like guard Sam Cassell and forward Clyde Drexler. Actually, this was the most successful period in the team’s history.
In the year 1996, the Houston Rockets added another great player, Charles Barkley. However, this move did not help the team soar past the Western Conference Finals. By the year 2001, most stars of the team including Barkley and Olajuwon had already left the team. Other superstars joined the team in early 21 st century including Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming from China. These two left the team in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The Rockets then began its rebuilding process and continued to improve till in 2014-2015 season when the team set its best record of 56-26 thus advancing to the Western Conference Finals. The team has now won 4 Western Conference titles and 2 NBA championships. Their general manager is Daryl Morey while their head coach is Mike D’Antoni.