The Houston Rockets is an American basketball team located in Houston. They play in the NBA as a member team of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home matches at the Toyota Center, located in Downtown Houston. Throughout its history, the team has received two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston. Let us take a look at the top 10 greatest players in the Houston Rockets of all time.
1. Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon was born on January 21, 1963. He was a former Nigerian-American NBA basketball player. He played center for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors from 1984 to 2002. In 1994 and 1995, he guided the Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2016. He is one of the best centers as well as one of the best basketball players of all time. The Houston Rockets selected him with the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. He became the Rockets’ undisputed leader in 1988.
Olajuwon made history as the first player from a country other than the United States to win the NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA All-Star. He was one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and was a member of the 1996 Olympic gold-medal-winning United States national basketball team. Further, he was one of the greatest players in league history.
2. James Harden
James Harden was born on August 26, 1989. He is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was the best shooting guard in the NBA, one of the best players overall in the league, and one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers. Harden was the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2009 while playing college basketball for the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Harden with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
He was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year with the Thunder in 2012 and assisted the team to reach the NBA Finals. Before being traded to the Houston Rockets before the 2012–13 season, he turned down a contract extension offer from the Thunder. In his first year with the team, he established or tied several team records. Harden has played for the United States national team and helped the team in winning gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics and FIBA World Cup in 2014.
3. Moses Malone
Moses Malone was an American basketball player who played in both the NBA and the American Basketball Association from 1974 through 1995. He was a center who won three NBA MVP awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections, and eight All-NBA Team selections. In 1983, he led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA title and won both the league and finals MVP awards. He is one of the greatest players in the history of sports. Utah Stars selected him in the third round of the 1974 ABA draft. After joining the Buffalo Braves in the NBA, he moved to the Houston Rockets after just two games. Malone spent six seasons with the Rockets and became a five-time All-Star.
4. Yao Ming
Yao Ming was born on September 12, 1980. He is a former NBA player and executive in the Chinese basketball league. He played for the Houston Rockets and the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. In the 2002 NBA draft, the Rockets selected him as the first overall pick. He made it to the NBA Playoffs four times.
5. Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes was born on November 17, 1945. He is a former basketball player from the United States who currently works as a radio analyst for the Houston Cougars. Hayes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and played on the NBA’s 50th and 75th-anniversary teams. He is one of the best power forwards in NBA history.
6. Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady was born on May 24, 1979. He is a former basketball player from the USA. Further, he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2001. He has been selected for seven NBA All-Star games, seven All-NBA teams, and two NBA scoring championships. As a player of the Class of 2017, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Toronto Raptors selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. He left the Raptors in 2000 and signed with the Orlando Magic. There he became one of the league’s top scorers and a contender for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. He moved to the Houston Rockets in 2004, where he teamed up with center Yao Ming to help the team consistently make the playoffs.
7. Clyde Drexler
Clyde Drexler was born on June 22, 1962. He is a former basketball player from the United States. Drexler played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association primarily with the Portland Trail Blazers before concluding his career with the Houston Rockets. Further, he was a ten-time All-Star in the NBA. Drexler was a player of the 1992 United States Olympic team known as “The Dream Team” and won a gold medal. He also received an NBA championship with Houston in 1995. Further, he was inducted two times into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2004 for his career and 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”. Drexler is one of the best shooting guards and basketball players of all time.
8. Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley was born on February 20, 1963. He is a former NBA basketball player from the USA. In the National Basketball Association (NBA), Barkley spent 16 seasons with three different teams. Barkley won the 1993 NBA Most Valuable Player award in addition to being a member of the All-NBA Team 11 times and an NBA All-Star 11 times.
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Barkley with the fifth pick in the 1984 NBA draft as a junior. In 1985, Barkley was selected for the NBA All-Rookie First Team during his rookie season. In 1991, he was selected as the NBA All-Star Game MVP, and in 1993, while playing for the Phoenix Suns, he received the league MVP vote. He played in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, representing the United States in both competitions and helping the team in winning two gold medals.
9. Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy was born on May 9, 1948. He is a former American basketball player. From 1970 to 1983, he was a guard for the San Diego/Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. He currently works as a broadcaster for the Houston Rockets on AT&T SportsNet TV. Further, he holds the distinction of the shortest NBA player in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
10. Steve Francis
Steve Francis was born on February 21, 1977. He is a former American basketball player. He was chosen with the second overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft, and in his rookie year, he shared the Rookie of the Year award. While playing for the Houston Rockets, he was an NBA All-Star three times. Francis finished his career with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association after also playing for the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.
You can refer also to the NBA SINGLE-GAME SCORING LEADERS
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