The Houston Rockets originated in 1967 and have two NBA championships to their credit. Despite just two titles, the Houston Rockets all-time team is loaded with talent. The all-time roster is represented with current and future hall of fame members. The Rockets’ all-time team matches up with just about any other franchise in the NBA.
All-Time Houston Rockets Roster
Point Guard – Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy spent his entire career with the Rockets franchise, and it was a splendid career. Murphy carried career per-game averages of 17.9 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds. For an undersized point guard, Murphy had a fantastic 48.2 field goal percentage. Murphy made an all-star team in the 1978-79 NBA season, in which he carried per game averages of 20.2 points, and 4.3 assists.
The Rockets didn’t have a lot of success in Murphy’s tenure as they only made the playoffs six times in his 13 seasons, with only one of those appearances coming before Moses Malone showed up in Houston. Murphy deserves to be on the Houston Rockets all-time team due to his longevity with the franchise and what he meant to a brand new team.
Shooting Guard – James Harden
The Rockets have a few options at shooting guard and small forward, but James Harden gets the nod here. Harden is one of the premier players in the NBA and that is evident by his MVP award in the 2017-18 season, and his runner up following this past season to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Harden played the first three seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder and showed signs of being a superstar player. His final season with the Thunder was his best where he had per-game averages of 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Harden showed his superstar ability immediately for Houston and hasn’t looked back since. For his career, he is averaging 24.3 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.2 rebounds. He has a very impressive 121.9 win shares over his 10 season.
Small Forward – Tracy McGrady
Before knee issues derailed his final years in the NBA, Tracy McGrady was a premier player in the NBA. Although McGrady’s best years came with the Orlando Magic, he was still excellent with the Rockets. He also holds one of the most memorable moments in NBA history when he poured in 13 points in 35 seconds to defeat the San Antonio Spurs.
McGrady made the all-star team in his first three seasons with the Rockets. For his Rockets career, even with two injury-riddled seasons, McGrady carried per game averages of 22.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.
Power Forward – Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon is a shoo-in for the Houston Rockets all-time team, and one of the greatest players of all time. Olajuwon is not only known for his exceptional footwork on the low-block but also his elite defensive ability. He was a player who could truly do it all on the floor.
Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in the 1993-94 season and the 1994-95 season. Olajuwon took home the finals MVP award in both of those seasons as well as the 1993-94 NBA MVP award. In addition to those accomplishments, Olajuwon is a 12-time all-star, 12-time All-NBA selection, nine-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, and a two-time NBA defensive player of the year.
For his career, Olajuwon had per-game averages of 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and had an impressive 162.8 win shares.
Center – Moses Malone
Malone is one of the greatest rebounders the NBA has ever seen. He teamed up with Calvin Murphy in the mid-1970s on very good Houston Rocket teams forming a very formidable duo. Malone played six seasons in Houston and had per-game averages of 24 points, 15 rebounds, and he made the all-star team in every season but one with Houston.
The Rockets were a consistent playoff team while Malone was patrolling the middle. In his first season in Houston, the Rockets made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were knocked off by Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets made their first finals appearance in the 1980-81 season. In that season, the Rockets actually had a losing record and became only the second team in league history to advance to the finals with a losing record. They, unfortunately, fell in six games to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics.
Malone had sterling accomplishments throughout his career. He is a three-time NBA MVP, a thirteen-time all-star, an eight-time All-NBA selection, and two-time All-Defensive team selection.
Point Guard – Chris Paul
Despite only playing two seasons in Houston, Chris Paul is one of the all-time greats at the point guard position and he helped lead Houston to within a game of an NBA finals appearance.
Paul has always been a ball-dominant player, so his per-game averages with the Rockets of 17.1 points, and eight assists are incredible as he was ceding a lot of the ball-handling duties to Harden.
Shooting Guard – Clyde Drexler
Clyde Drexler has a remarkable career and is rightfully a hall of fame inductee. Drexler was acquired in the middle of the 1994-95 season from the Portland Trail Blazers and helped the Rockets win their second NBA title.
Drexler was a 10-time all-star and five-time All-NBA selection in his career. He averaged 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists for his career. He also had a very solid 135.6 win shares over his 16-year NBA career.
Small Forward – Rudy Tomjanovich
Rudy Tomjanovich was apart of a very good big three in the 1970s for the Houston Rockets, which also include Calvin Murphy and Moses Malone. Although Tomjanovich was a great player, he may be best known for the punch he took courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ Kermit Washington. The punch cost Tomjanovich the remainder of the season and he had to go through five months of rehabilitation.
Tomjanovich was, however, an excellent player for the Rockets. Over the course of his eleven seasons, he averaged 17.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2 assists. Tomjanovich was also named to five all-star teams.
Power Forward – Ralph Sampson
Ralph Sampson was another big man who had a dominant start to his career, only to see it derailed by injury. Although he only played five seasons with the Rockets thanks to those injuries, he was splendid.
Sampson came right into Houston out of the University of Virginia and proved he belonged. He was named the 1983-84 Rookie of the Year after averaging 21 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks.
Sampson is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame, was named to four all-star teams, and one All-NBA team. Through his five seasons in Houston, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks.
Center – Yao Ming
Yao Ming was yet another big man who had their career derailed by foot ailments. He played nine seasons with the Rockets. In his final two years, however, he played a mere five games due to injuries.
Ming was dominant when healthy. He helped to expand the game of basketball globally and is an icon in his home country of China. For his career, Ming averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks. He is a member of the basketball hall of fame, was an eight-time all-star selection, and a five-time All-NBA selection.
Embed from Getty Images