What’s in a name? The origins of the names of some NBA teams have a history. For example, did the Houston Rockets get their name because Houston, Texas, is the headquarters of NASA? In fact, the Rockets originated in San Diego. The “Rockets” franchise thing in a “team name” contest. He based this election on the San Diego motto, “A City on the Move.”
In fact, the Rockets have been flying into the NBA Finals since they joined the NBA during 1971-1972. Before the start of the season, the team moved from San Diego, California; to Houston, Texas. The name “Rockets” was ideal, since Houston was the headquarters of NASA. Unfortunately, the Rockets finished the season with a 34-48 record.
The Rockets’ rise to the top of the NBA totem would take more than two decades. About a decade later, they took their first step in the 1980-1981 season. Although they posted a losing record of 40-42, the Rockets slipped into the playoffs. First they surprised world champion Los Angeles Lakers. They then defeated the San Antonio Spurs (4-3) and the Kansas City Kings (4-1), but lost in the NBA Finals to the mighty Boston Celtics (4-2).
During the 1985-1986 season, the Rockets returned to prominence, thanks primarily to the play of Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. They finished the regular season 43-31. Then the Rockets made their way to the NBA Finals, quite easily. They beat the Sacramento Kings (3-0), Denver Nuggets (4-2) and Los Angeles Lakers (4-2). However, the Celtics simply beat the Rockets in the NBA Finals (4-2).
In the 1993-1994 season, the Rockets achieved success. After becoming victors in the first 15 games of the season, they finally went 58-24. Hakeen Olajuawon and a solid supporting cast marched into the playoffs. They defeated the Portland Trailblazers (3-2), the Phoenix Suns (4-3) and the Utah Jazz (4-1). In the NBA Finals, the Rockets faced the New York Knicks. Olajuwon blocked John Starks’ last shot at the bell, securing a Rockets victory. They would win Game 7 and their first NBA Championship.
In the following season, the Rockets would defend their NBA crown. They completed the regular season with a marginally good 47-35 record. His path through the playoffs included series victories over the Utah Jazz (3-2,), the Phoenix Suns (4-3) and the San Antonio Spurs (4-2). In the first two series, the Rockets had to fight deficits of 2-1 and 3-1, respectively. The Rockets completed an incredible season by sweeping the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals.
The Houston Rockets have retired the jersey numbers of five players throughout their franchise history:
Clyde Drexler – # 22 (Forward) 1994-1998
Moses Malone – # 24 (center) 1976-1982
Calvin Murphy – # 32 (Guard) 1970-1983
Hakeem Olajuwon # 34 (Center) 1984-2001
Rudy Tomjanovich # 45 (Forward) 1970-1981
Throughout the history of the Houston Rockets, the sky has been the limit. Even though they have experienced challenging games, series, and seasons, they have steadily advanced and promoted. Use Houston Rockets merchandise to cheer on the Rockets as they advance to another NBA championship!