San Diego Rockets
|Club colors||Red, silver, black
|Head coach||Mike D'Antoni|
|General manager||Daryl Morey|
|Farm teams||Rio Grande Valley Vipers|
|Championships||2 (1994, 1995)|
|Conference title||4 (1981, 1986, 1994, 1995)|
|Division title||8 (1977, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2015, 2018-2020)|
The Houston Rockets are a team of the North American professional basketball league NBA . The Rockets (Eng .: "rockets") were founded in 1967 in San Diego , California as the San Diego Rockets . In 1971 the team was sold to Houston .
San Diego Rockets (1967-1971)
The San Diego Rockets joined the NBA in 1967 as an expansion team . The first player the Rockets signed in the NBA Draft was future Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley . However, the Rockets only finished their first season with 15 wins. A year later, in the 1968 NBA draft , the Rockets drew their first pick, Elvin Hayes , the team's first star. This led the Rockets to their first playoff participation in 1969, but they failed at the Atlanta Hawks . In the 1970 NBA draft , Rudy Tomjanovich, an important player who would shape the face of the franchise for decades, joined the team .
Despite Hayes, Tomjanovich and point guard Calvin Murphy , there was no sporting success in the years that followed. The team also had to struggle with low attendance at home games. This caused the then owner Robert Breitbard to sell the team. The franchise was bought by a Texas investment group for $ 5.6 million and relocated to Houston in 1971. This was the first time in history that Texas had an NBA team.
First years in Houston and the Moses Malone era (1971–1982)
With the move to Houston, Elvin Hayes' era with the Rockets ended. Hayes, the Rockets' best points collector to date, was sold to the Baltimore Bullets in the middle of the 1971/72 NBA season . With the departure of the star, the Rockets played no role in the allocation of playoff places. It was not until 1975 that the second playoff qualification followed, in which they lost in the second round to the Boston Celtics after they were transferred to the Central Division of the Eastern Conference from the 1972/73 season .
1976 Moses Malone could be committed by the Buffalo Braves and the team qualified again in 1977 for the playoffs. The Rockets, however, were eliminated in the second round against the Philadelphia 76ers around Julius Erving . The years to come were marked by mediocrity. In 1978 NBA legend Rick Barry was hired, but he had already passed his zenith. After a weak 1977/78 season with only 28 wins, they increased to 47 wins in the 1978/79 NBA season . Moses Malone received the MVP award for his achievements .
With the entry of the Dallas Mavericks in 1980, the Houston Rockets were moved from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference . Despite a mixed season in which they could only win forty games, the Rockets reached the NBA final for the first time in 1981 after playoff wins against the Los Angeles Lakers , San Antonio Spurs and Kansas City Kings . There they were defeated by the Larry Bird- led Boston Celtics in six games. In 1981 the Rockets brought back ex-star Elvin Hayes, who was already 36 years old. Houston qualified again for the playoffs, Moses Malone won his second MVP trophy, but this time it was over after the first round. After leaving, Malone left the Rockets for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Rockets began rebuilding.
Twin Towers (1983-1987)
With just 14 wins in the 1982/83 NBA season , the Rockets won first election in the 1983 NBA Draft . The extremely talented center Ralph Sampson was selected , who was named Rookie of the Year with 21 points and eleven rebounds per game . The Rockets increased their record from 14 to 29 wins. In the 1984 NBA Draft , the Rockets again received first voting rights and used it for the Nigerian center Hakeem Olajuwon . The duo Sampson and Olajuwon was reverently called "Twin Towers" because of their size (Sampson: 2.24 m, Olajuwon: 2.13 m) and dominance. With the arrival of Olajuwon, the Rockets qualified again for the playoffs, but were eliminated in the first round. A year later, 1986, the young Rockets reached the finals. Again you had to admit defeat to the Boston Celtics to Larry Bird and Kevin McHale . Boston's head coach KC Jones predicted a golden era for the "Twin Towers" and the Rockets and described the duo Olajuwon and Sampson as "New Monster on the Block". In the following season, Sampson was seriously injured and was out half of the season. With Olajuwon alone, the team could not repeat the previous year's success and was eliminated early in the 1987 playoffs against the Seattle SuperSonics .
Rebuilding with Olajuwon (1988–1992)
Sampson never fully recovered from his injury and lost much of his athleticism. His values fell from an average of 20 points and 11 rebounds per game to 15 points and nine rebounds. Those responsible drew the consequences and sent Sampson to the Golden State Warriors during the 1987/88 NBA season . There, too, and with other teams, Sampson was never able to build on his early career achievements due to chronic knee injuries and ended his NBA career in 1992 at the age of 31. From that day on, the Rockets faced a rebuilding. Important players from the 1986 NBA final left the team or ended their careers. Despite new commitments such as Kenny Smith , Otis Thorpe and Vernon Maxwell , as well as regular qualification for the playoffs, the team was also eliminated regularly in the first round. In 1992 the Rockets missed the playoffs.
Top team and NBA championships (1993-2001)
After a mediocre start to the 1991/92 NBA season , the Rockets management dismissed coach Don Chaney , and former Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich took over as coach. In the 1992 NBA Draft , the Rockets drew Robert Horry, an important player for the future. In the 1993 draft , they signed Sam Cassell and Mario Elie . In 1993, the Houston Rockets were bought by Leslie Alexander for $ 85 million.
The 1993/94 NBA season marked a crucial turning point for the Rockets. Michael Jordan retired and the champion of the past three years, the Chicago Bulls , were no longer dominant without Jordan. The Houston Rockets finished the season with 58 wins and finished second behind the Seattle SuperSonics in the Western Conference. Hakeem Olajuwon received the MVP award for his achievements. In the playoffs, the SuperSonics were surprisingly eliminated in the first round against the Denver Nuggets , so the Rockets' strongest opponent was already eliminated. After victories against the Portland Trail Blazers , Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz , the Rockets faced the New York Knicks around star center Patrick Ewing in the NBA finals . In a close encounter that lasted seven games, the Rockets prevailed as winners and won their first NBA championship.
In the middle of the 1994/95 NBA season , the Rockets forward Otis Thorpe to the Portland Trail Blazers, star player and Olajuwon's friend Clyde Drexler came to Houston in exchange . Despite a comparatively weak season, in which Houston only had the sixth-best record in the West, the Rockets survived the first round against the Utah Jazz. After another tight series against the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs, the Rockets reached the NBA final again. There they met the young and aspiring team of Orlando Magic . The Magic were a favorite thanks to their season record and the young stars Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway . But the Rockets surprised the experts, winning all four games and thus their second championship in a row.
With the return of Michael Jordan the series championship of the Rockets ended. In the 1996 playoffs, the Rockets were eliminated in the second round. During the NBA season 1996/97 , the Rockets threaded a top commitment and got superstar Charles Barkley from Phoenix. In return, Robert Horry and Sam Cassell moved to Arizona. With the triumvirate Olajuwon, Drexler and Barkley, the Rockets were again considered favorites for the title and ended the season with 57 wins. In the 1997 playoffs they reached the Western Conference Finals again, but were eliminated by the Utah Jazz led by Karl Malone and John Stockton . The next season was much worse and the Rockets only qualified as the eighth best team in the Western Conference for the playoffs. Again the end came against Jazz, this time in the first round. After leaving, Clyde Drexler ended his NBA career.
After the lockout during the 1998/99 NBA season , the Chicago Bulls fell apart. The Houston Rockets signed Scottie Pippen from the Bulls to replace the resigned Drexler. Of the remaining 50 games, the Rockets won 31. In the playoffs, however, came again the early break against the Lakers. After the season, Pippen left the team for Portland. The 1999/00 season was Barkley's last season in the Rockets jersey. He resigned after the season. The now 37-year-old Olajuwon only played half of the season. The Rockets missed the playoffs again for the first time. The new star of the team was rookie Steve Francis , who was signed by the Vancouver Grizzlies after the 1999 NBA draft . Francis received the Co-Rookie-of-the-Year Award for his performance, along with Elton Brand .
Yao Ming Era (2002-2011)
After the 2000/01 NBA season , Olajuwon left the Houston Rockets and moved to the Toronto Raptors , where he ended his career a year later. The Rockets now relied on the young players Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley . In the 2002 NBA Draft , the Rockets won the Draft Lottery and were the first to vote. The choice fell on the 2.29 m tall Chinese center Yao Ming . Head Coach Tomjanovich resigned after a mediocre season in which the playoffs were missed. Jeff Van Gundy took over his position . With Francis, Mobley and Ming, a new dynasty should be founded, but the Rockets did not qualify for the playoffs again until 2004 and were eliminated from the Lakers.
Steve Francis was handed over to Orlando with Mobley for Tracy McGrady in the summer of 2004 . McGrady, one of the best players in the league at the time, was to form a new team with Ming. The team improved noticeably, but failed in the first playoff round against the Dallas Mavericks . A year later, the season ended in disaster when Ming and McGrady missed half the season due to injury. With only 34 wins, the playoffs were missed. Still, the Rockets recovered quickly and regularly qualified for the playoffs over the next three years. Yao Ming developed into one of the best centers in the NBA. After being eliminated in the first round in 2007, Van Gundy was replaced by Rick Adelman . In the 2007-08 NBA season , the Rockets put up a series of 22 wins. This is the third-longest winning streak in NBA history. However, they never reached more than the second playoff round in those years.
During the pre -season preparation for the 2009/10 NBA season , Yao Ming was injured so badly that he was out for the entire season. Tracy McGrady was also seriously injured and played irregularly. With the two permanent injuries, the Rockets missed the playoffs 2010. McGrady was sent to the New York Knicks during the season, in return the Rockets received Kevin Martin from the Sacramento Kings . Aaron Brooks won the NBA Most Improved Player Award at the end of the season .
In the 2010/11 NBA season , Yao Ming returned to the Rockets roster after a break of almost a year. However, Ming suffered a fatigue fracture in his left ankle in the fifth game of the season. Despite the worst possible prognosis, the Rockets managed, thanks to Kevin Martin and Luis Scola, to at least end the season with a positive balance, even if they did not reach the playoffs. On July 20, 2011, Yao Ming retired from professional basketball for health reasons.
New start with Harden (since 2013)
The team's upheaval began with the resignation of Ming. During the 2010-11 NBA season , Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks were given up. In return, Hasheem Thabeet and Goran Dragic came to Houston. However, the Rockets narrowly missed the playoffs. After the season, Adelman left the team and Kevin McHale was hired as the new coach. The playoffs were missed again in the 2011/12 NBA season .
In the summer of 2012, key players such as Luis Scola , Kyle Lowry , Marcus Camby and Goran Dragic left the team. The Rockets signed Ömer Aşık and Jeremy Lin . The Rockets had three first round picks with Jeremy Lamb , Royce White and Terrence Jones , as well as Donatas Motiejunas , the fourth rookie for the new season. Shortly before the start of the 2012/13 season , Jeremy Lamb and Kevin Martin were transferred to the Oklahoma City Thunder . In return, James Harden moved to Houston.
On February 5, 2013, the Rockets in the game against the Golden State Warriors with 23 successful three-point throws set the previous NBA record of the Orlando Magic from 2009. In the playoffs, the Rockets met the favorite Thunder from Oklahoma in the first round. Against this, the Rockets were eliminated after six games with 2: 4 wins. Harden rose to star in Houston and was voted an All-Star. With 25.9 points per game, he was the fifth best point collector in the NBA.
For the 2013/14 season, center star Dwight Howard was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers. The 27-year-old received a four-year contract with the Rockets for the equivalent of 68 million euros. Howard and Harden were invited to the All-Star Game. The team achieved 54 wins out of 28 losses. Despite home advantage, the Rockets were eliminated in the first playoff round against the Portland Trail Blazers 2-4.
During the summer of 2014, Chandler Parsons left the team and joined the Dallas Mavericks. As a replacement Trevor Ariza was signed by the Washington Wizards . As a backup, Kostas Papanikolaou should make the wing game more variable. The Greek came from the Spanish champions FC Barcelona . In December 2014, the Rockets signed forward Josh Smith , who had recently been fired from the Detroit Pistons . In addition, Corey Brewer was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves a few days earlier . In the playoffs, the team under the leadership of Harden was able to advance to the final of the Western Conference and beat the Dallas Mavericks in the first round and the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round. In the Western Conference finals, however, the Rockets lost 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors .
During the summer break, the Rockets strengthened themselves with point guard Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets, but otherwise went into the new season with almost the same squad. After a poor start to the 2015/16 season , coach Kevin McHale was sacked after eleven games. The previous assistant coach JB Bickerstaff acted as a replacement .
At the beginning of June 2016, the Rockets signed Mike D'Antoni as their new head coach. Dwight Howard left the Rockets after three years and joined the Atlanta Hawks . On the other hand, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson , who came from the New Orleans Pelicans , were signed up. At the end of the trade deadline, Lou Williams was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the middle of the season . In return, Corey Brewer and Tyler Ennis moved to Los Angeles. KJ McDaniels was also traded to the Brooklyn Nets . The Rockets fought 55 victories and finished third in the Western Conference. After an undisputed 4-1 win in the first round against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they lost 4-2 to the San Antonio Spurs in the Conference semifinals .
Honors and achievements worth mentioning
|CD||Carroll Dawson||Assistant Coach, General Manager||1979-2007|
|Dwight Howard||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Ron Artest||Career ended|
|Charles Barkley||Career ended|
|Rick barry||Career ended|
|Sam Cassell||Career ended|
|Sleepy Floyd||Career ended|
|Steve Francis||Career ended|
|Elvin Hayes||Career ended|
|Robert Horry||Career ended|
|Moses Malone||† 2015|
|Vernon Maxwell||Career ended|
|Tracy McGrady||Career ended|
|Cuttino Mobley||Career ended|
|Dikembe Mutombo||Career ended|
|Chandler Parsons||without a club|
|Chris Paul||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Scottie Pippen||Career ended|
|Robert Reid||Career ended|
|Ralph Sampson||Career ended|
|Luis Scola||Olimpia Milano|
|Kenny Smith||Career ended|
|Yao Ming||Career ended|
|Otis Thorpe||Career ended|
|year||Victories: defeats||Wins [%]||Play-offs|
|San Diego Rockets|
|1967/68||15:67||18.3||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1968/69||37:45||46.1||2-4 in the Western Division semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks|
|1969/70||27:55||32.9||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1970/71||40:42||48.8||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1971/72||34:48||41.5||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1972/73||33:49||40.2||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1973/74||32:50||39.0||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1974/75||41:41||50.0||1: 4 in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics|
|1975/76||40:42||48.8||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1976/77||49:33||59.8||2-4 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers|
|1977/78||28:54||34.1||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1978/79||47:35||57.3||0-2 in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks|
|1979/80||41:41||50.0||0-4 in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics|
|1980/81||40:42||48.8||2-4 in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics|
|1981/82||46:36||56.1||1: 2 in the first round against the Seattle SuperSonics|
|1982/83||14:68||17.1||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1983/84||29:53||35.4||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1984/85||48:34||58.5||1: 2 in the first round against the Utah Jazz|
|1985/86||51:31||62.2||2-4 in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics|
|1986/87||42:40||51.2||2: 4 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Seattle SuperSonics|
|1987/88||46:36||56.1||1: 3 in the first round against the Dallas Mavericks|
|1988/89||45:37||54.9||1: 3 in the first round against the Seattle SuperSonics|
|1989/90||41:41||50.0||1: 3 in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers|
|1990/91||52:30||63.4||0: 3 in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers|
|1991/92||42:40||51.2||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|1992/93||55:27||67.1||3: 4 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Seattle SuperSonics|
|1993/94||58:24||70.7||NBA champions 4-3 against the New York Knicks|
|1994/95||47:35||57.3||NBA champions 4-0 against Orlando Magic|
|1995/96||48:34||58.5||0: 4 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Seattle SuperSonics|
|1996/97||57:25||69.5||2: 4 in the Western Conference Finals against the Utah Jazz|
|1997/98||41:41||50.0||2: 3 in the first round against the Utah Jazz|
|1998/99||31:19||62.0||1: 3 in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers|
|1999/00||34:48||41.5||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2000/01||45:37||54.9||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2001/02||28:54||34.1||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2002/03||43:39||52.4||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2003/04||45:37||54.9||1: 4 in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers|
|2004/05||51:31||62.2||3-4 in the first round against the Dallas Mavericks|
|2005/06||34:48||41.5||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2006/07||52:30||63.4||3: 4 in the first round against the Utah Jazz|
|2007/08||55:27||67.1||2-4 in the first round against the Utah Jazz|
|2008/09||53:29||64.6||3: 4 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers|
|2009/10||42:40||51.2||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2010/11||43:39||52.4||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2011/12||34:32||51.5||Not qualified for the play-offs|
|2012/13||45:37||54.9||2-4 in the first round against the Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2013/14||54:28||65.9||2-4 in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers|
|2014/15||56:26||68.3||1: 4 in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors|
|2015/16||41:41||50.0||1: 4 in the first round against the Golden State Warriors|
|2016/17||55:27||67.1||2-4 in the Western Conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs|
|2017/18||65:17||79.3||3: 4 in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors|
|2018/19||53:29||64.6||2-4 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Golden State Warriors|
|total||2269: 2019||52.9||153: 157 in the play-offs ( 49.4% ) - 2 NBA championships|
- ↑ Rockets crush Warriors in testy game , msn.foxsports.com
- ↑ Mike D'Antoni new trainer of the Houston Rockets , sportal.de from June 2, 2016