35 Facts About Houston Rockets


Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston.

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The Houston Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association as a member team of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division.

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Houston Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967.

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The Houston Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987.

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Houston Rockets was traded to the Brooklyn Nets which started a rebuilding period.

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The Houston Rockets, when piloted by Morey, were been renowned for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play.

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Houston Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US$1.

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The expansion Houston Rockets ultimately lost 67 games in their inaugural season, which was an NBA record for losses in a season at the time.

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In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston.

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Houston Rockets was meanwhile still on the hook for paying off the NBA expansion fee for the Rockets, in addition to construction-related bonds on the arena, which he had built with private funding.

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At least 14 private offers for the Houston Rockets were made to Breitbard, though all would have resulted in the team being relocated out of San Diego, which Breitbard was adamantly opposed to.

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At that time the Rockets gained popularity in Houston, selling out several home games during the regular season as the Rockets battled for a playoff spot and then selling out all of their home playoff games.

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Houston Rockets died the following year, and while the Maloof family expressed interest in selling the team, George's 24-year-old son Gavin took over the Rockets.

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The Maloof period of ownership marked the first dominant period of the Houston Rockets, highlighted by the team's first Western Conference Championship and NBA Finals appearance in 1981, their first year after being moved from the Eastern Conference.

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The postseason had the Houston Rockets beat the Lakers, in-state rivals San Antonio Spurs, and the equally underdog Kansas City Kings to become only the second team in NBA history to have advanced to the Finals after achieving a losing record in the regular season.

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Sampson had good numbers and was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year award, but the Rockets still finished last overall, again getting the top pick at the upcoming 1984 NBA draft, used to select Hakeem Olajuwon from the University of Houston.

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The subsequent playoffs had the Houston Rockets sweeping the Sacramento Kings, having a hard-fought six-game series with Alex English's Denver Nuggets, and then facing defending champion Lakers, losing the first game but eventually managing to win the series – the only Western Playoffs defeat of the Showtime Lakers – to get to the franchise's second Finals appearance.

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When Houston Rockets swept the Finals' series in four games, they became the first team in NBA history to win the championship as a sixth seed, and the first to beat four 50-win teams in a single postseason en route to the championship.

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The playoffs had the Houston Rockets beating the Lakers before a sweep by the SuperSonics.

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Drexler retired after the season, and the Houston Rockets traded to bring in Scottie Pippen to take his place.

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The Houston Rockets missed the 2003 playoffs by one game, improving their record by 15 victories.

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At that time, the Houston Rockets set an NBA record for best record by a team with no All-Stars.

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The most important acquisition was reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden, who Morey called a "foundational" player expected to be Houston Rockets's featured player after a supporting role in the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Eager to add another franchise player to their team, the Houston Rockets heavily pursued and then acquired free agent center Dwight Howard in the 2013 off-season.

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Houston Rockets became the first Rocket to score 50 points in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon, as well as the only player in franchise history to record multiple 50 point games in a season.

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Inconsistent play led to the Houston Rockets struggling to remain in the playoff qualifying zone, and surrounded by trade rumors.

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Houston Rockets's absence was felt in the two remaining games, where Houston led by halftime in Game 7 only to suffer a comeback by Golden State.

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Houston Rockets had one draft pick entering the off-season, and they used it to select De'Anthony Melton, packaging him in a trade with the Phoenix Suns alongside Ryan Anderson to receive Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.

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The Houston Rockets clinched a division title and a playoff berth for a seventh straight appearance.

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In 2009, the Houston Rockets invoked the championship years with an alternate red uniform, featuring gold numbers and side stripes.

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In 1995, the Houston Rockets debuted Clutch the Bear as a second mascot, a large teddy bear-like mascot that performs a variety of acts during the games.

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Houston Rockets have developed many rivalries within the Western Conference ever since the team returned there in 1980.

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Houston Rockets has faced both Texas teams in the playoffs since 1980, beating the Spurs three times and losing once.

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The Houston Rockets lost twice to the Mavericks, while beating them once.

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Houston Rockets currently do not own the draft rights to unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA.

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