Top 10 Houston Rockets of All-Time

Top 10 Houston Rockets of All-Time

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Houston Rockets


Honorable Mentions:

20. Luis Scola

19. Stu Lantz

18. John Lucas

17. Robert Horry

16. Cuttino Mobley

15. Vernon Maxwell

14. Charles Barkley

13. Otis Thorpe

12. James Harden

11. Kenny Smith


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10. Steve Francis

Seasons in Red:

6 (1999-2004)

Stats w/ the Rockets

19.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 2.0 Stocks, 43.0 FG%

Who else misses this watching man play basketball? Steve Francis has his ups and downs in his five-plus years with the Rockets., given his injury issues throughout his time in Houston, but when he was healthy – he was a force. Francis really filled the stat sheet, scoring 17.1 points, dishing out 5.8 assists and grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game. Those numbers are nothing to shake your head at. The problem with Francis, though, is that he didn’t lead the team to a championship, despite the hype surrounding him when he demanded to be traded after being drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He just wasn’t the best role model for Rockets fans, nor was he what the team needed to get back to the promised land. With all that said, he still put up great numbers and is one of the more recognizable faces in team history. Maybe not today though, as Stevie Franchise has had his problems with drugs and looks like a different person nowadays. Get better Steve! You made a lot of basketball fans very happy. We are all rooting for ya.

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9. Tracy McGrady

Seasons in Red:

6 (2004-2010)

Stats w/ the Rockets

22.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.9 Stocks, 42.0 FG%

Another one of my favorites, Tracy McGrady was the face of the Houston Rockets from 2004-2010. He came over to Houston after leading the league in scoring in back-to-back years with the Orlando Magic, and the world was expected of him with his new team. Of course, he failed to deliver a championship, but that wasn’t for a lack of truing as he had a scoring average of 22.4 points during his five-plus seasons in red. Just like Orlando, Tracy didn’t really have much of a team beyond his partner-in-crime Yao Ming down low. He was one of the most popular NBA players of the past decade or so, and Houston fans treated him like a king during his first four seasons there. After he failed to deliver championships or even a little playoff success, though, the relationship began to go sour. He may very well be the best pure scorer in team history, and that’s why he deserves a spot in the top 10, if he could have stayed healthy throughout his stint in Houston and had a better supporting cast, he probably would have cracked the top 5.

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8. Yao Ming

Seasons in Red:

8 (2002-2011)

Stats w/ the Rockets

19.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.6 APG, 2.3 Stocks, 52.4 FG%

Yao Ming is one of the most polarizing figures in NBA history on and off the court. Standing at 7’6″ and weighing around 310 pounds, there’s no wonder the Rockets had the confidence to take him No. 1 overall in the 2002 draft. Injuries derailed the end of his career, but he still lived up to the expectations after putting together some great seasons when he was able to see the floor. During his eight healthy years with the Rockets, Ming scored 19 points and pulled down 9.2 rebounds per game which allowed him to make the All-Star game each season. His height gave him the advantage near the rim on both offense and defense, though it helped him to be extremely efficient on offense. He shot 52.4 percent for his career and had a pretty deadly mid range game. Ming increased the NBA’s popularity in China to an extreme level which essentially made him one of the most popular athletes in all of sports around the world. That type of impact puts Ming ahead of more talented players like Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis, though his “what-could-have-been” career just wasn’t successful enough to rank him higher. With no championships and no major awards (other all those All-Star selections), Ming ranks 8 on this list of the Rockets greats.

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7. Ralph Sampson

Seasons in Red:

5 (1983-1988)

Stats w/ the Rockets

19.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.9 Stocks, 49.9 FG%

Ralph Sampson is one of the most dominating big men in team history and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. At 7’4″ and 215 pounds, Sampson was one of the lankiest players to ever play the sport, he even had a nickname with his partner-in-crime, Hakeem Olajuwon, as they were named the Twin Towers. His lankiness didn’t hinder his dominance in both the paint and on the boards, as he finished his four-plus years in Houston with averages of 18.7 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. This was expected of him after he was selected No. 1 overall by the team in 1983. Sampson played in the NBA for just nine seasons, but he was so dominant, while active, he deserved a spot in the hall. As a No. 1 overall pick and a player who just manhandled the competition, Sampson is one of the best Rockets (and best centers) in NBA history.

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