- NBA Championships: 2
- Last NBA Championship: 1995
- Claim to Fame: Houston interrupted the Bull’s dynasty by winning back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995.
- Claim to Shame: The Rockets won just 14 games and finished 39 games behind the division-leading Spurs during the 1982-83 season.
This franchise got its start in San Diego in 1967, but was moved shortly after to Houston in 1971. The team did not move to prominence until a trade landed them Moses Malone in 1976.
He would lead the Rockets to their first title appearance in 1981, where they were soundly defeated by the Celtics.
A new iteration of the Rockets emerged in the 80’s, using the first overall pick in the 1984 draft to take Hakeem Olajuwon. He paired with Ralph Samson in one of the original versions of the Twin Towers.
In 1986 Houston made the NBA Finals, only to fall short to the Boston Celtics yet again.
Eight years later, with Olajuwon still leading the Rockets, they would finally break through and win a Championship, defeating the upstart Orlando Magic in 1994.
With the team aging and needing some new life, Houston acquired Olajuwon’s former University of Houston teammate Clyde Drexler, and they repeated, beating the Knicks in 1995. They haven’t been back on that stage since.
They nearly made it back to the Finals before the collapses to the Warriors in the playoffs over the past two seasons, and once again Daryl Morey went big game hunting, by trading an aging and disgruntled Chris Paul to Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook.
Acquiring Westbrook to join his buddy James Harden is certainly a risk with both being two of the most ball dominant players in the league, but surrounded by another competent supporting cast this team will have another chance to make a run in the wide open West.