The Houston Rockets are one of the most successful franchises in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. From the championship runs to the superstars, the Rockets have become globally recognized as one of the most recognized NBA teams. Here we’ll take a look at the history of the Houston Rockets and why they’ve become such a powerful force in the NBA.
The Houston Rockets were founded in 1967, originally as the San Diego Rockets. The team was founded by Robert Breitbard with the primary goal of joining the NBA and giving the San Diego area an NBA team. In 1971, the Rockets finally achieved their dream and became part of the NBA. They were then led by Coach Tex Winter and were coached by Basketball Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes and Calvin Murphy.
The Early Years
The Rockets struggled in their first years in the NBA. They were unable to secure a winning record for the first 7 seasons and finished at the bottom of the standings 5 times during this period. Despite the challenges, the Rockets clinched their first playoff appearance in 1975 and then advanced to the NBA Finals in 1981. Though they would eventually lose the series, their strong performance marked the start of their journey to becoming one of NBA’s most powerful teams.
The next years saw the emergence of superstar players such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson, and Clyde Drexler. This trio was at the center of the Rockets’ success, culminating in back-to-back NBA Championships in 1995 and 1996. Led by their superstars, the Rockets added a third NBA title in 1994, finally achieving the team’s goal of becoming a championship team.
The Rise of James Harden
In the years since their championship win, the Houston Rockets have seen plenty of changes. The Rockets were considered an Eastern Conference giant but faded into mediocrity in the mid-2000s. It wasn’t until the arrival of guard James Harden in 2012 that the team saw a resurgence and returned to their former glory. Under the leadership of James Harden and head coach Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets have since become one of the best teams in the NBA and a perennial playoff contender.
The Rockets Today
Currently, the Rockets are a powerhouse in the NBA. Armed with one of the most talented rosters in the league, the team is well on its way to another championship run. With the roster they have, they have a bright future ahead of them and fans around the world are looking forward to the next chapter in the tale of the Houston Rockets.
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