HOUSTON ROCKETS FRANCHISE FACTS:
Location: Houston, Texas
Stadium: Toyota Center
Conference: Western Conference
Division: Southwest Division
Rivals: Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs
Dancers: Rockets Power Dancers
Notable Players: Clyde Drexler, Calvin Murphy, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming
Houston Rockets Championship Titles: 2
Houston Rockets Conference Titles: 4
Houston Rockets Playoff tickets
Houston Rockets Season Preview History
HOUSTON ROCKETS EXPERIENCE:
The Houston Rockets may be one of the most successful franchises in NBA history, having built a culture of winning ever since its inception in 1967. The squad got its start in San Diego where they played four forgettable years as an expansion team before becoming the first franchise in the Lone Star State when they moved to Houston in 1971. The Rockets went through some growing pains in the early part of the decade, but started to hit their stride in the 1976 season when they signed Moses Malone. Malone won two MVP awards during his tenure in Houston and even led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981, but they were struck down by the Boston Celtics in six games.
The real turning point for the Rockets came in 1984, when the team drafted future Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Largely considered to be one of the best centers to ever play the game, Olajuwon changed the fortunes of the Rockets almost instantly and gave them a strong presence in the paint and low post scoring that few teams in the league could compete with. Olajuwon led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in his second year, but once again they lost to the Boston Celtics. Over the next few years, the Rockets would be regular contenders in the playoffs, but each time they were eliminated before reaching the championship series.
It wasn't until the 1993-94 season that the Rockets would make it to the Promised Land. It was then that they were pitted against the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals, which many believe to be one of the most exciting championships ever. This was likely because of the showdown between two of the greatest centers in the league, Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing. The series was forced to a seventh game, and Olajuwon was named the Finals MVP for his spectacular performance. The team also achieved the rare feat of winning two championships in a row when they ended the title hopes of the Orlando Magic during the 1994-95 season and captured the team's second banner.
The Rockets made waves again in 2002 by selecting the 7 foot 6 inch Chinese center Yao Ming, but his presence was never able to translate into a championship for the team. After Ming's departure, the squad began rebuilding, and thanks to its ravenous fanbase, is more than ready to return to their glory days.