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Just when you thought the Houston Rockets were about to miss their championship window, General Manager Daryl Morey got the last laugh this offseason. After a draft, a few trades and a couple monumental signings, the Rockets let the dust settle and went after a major player that shook up the leage. All-Star Chris Paul was traded from the Rockets to the OKC Thunder for MVP Russell Westbrook. Westbrook reunites with his former teammate James Harden, and the new dynamic duo will look to take the league by storm. If these two MVPs can coexist, the sky is the limit for the Rockets, and the NBA title could find a home again in Houston.
On top of combining the talents of Westbrook and Harden, the Houston Rockets have a great roster from top to bottom. P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela have been a part for the Rockets for the past couple of seasons and will continue to be a pivotal part of their success. Eric Gordon is an incredible scorer off the bench for the Rockets, and if needed he can jump in to the starting five. Behind that, Gerald Green and Austin Rivers round out the guards for the Rockets. All of these players have a tenacity that is hard to teach. Houston will be a team that no one wants to play when the NBA playoffs come around. The pressure is now squarely on Head Coach Mike D'Antoni. His uptempo offense has yet to result in an NBA title, so now with one of the most talented rosters in the league, D'Antoni is out of excuses and time. The year is now for the Houston Rockets. Secure your Houston Rockets tickets today to be a part of this championship run they are hoping to make.
History of the Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets, who play as part of the Southwest Division of the NBA's Western Conference, became a franchise in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets. From 1967 to 1971, the team struggled like any expansion team does in their beginning years, only making the playoffs once and finishing with a losing record their first season. Although they only played four seasons in San Diego before moving to Houston, the Rockets acquired multiple players that became staples of their history during that time. In 1968, the Rockets drafted Elvin Hayes and followed that in 1970 when they drafted Rudy Tomjanovich and Calvin Murphy. The latter two would eventually have their numbers retired by the team. Following the move to Houston, Texas, for the 1972 season, the Rockets continued to struggle each season, unable to finish with a winning record until the 1976-77 season when they won 49 games. That year they were able to make it all the way to the Conference Finals, where they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. In 1981, the franchise once again had a mediocre season, which was fortunately good enough to still qualify for the postseason. In the NBA Playoffs, the Rockets surprised everyone in Houston and across the country, as they made it all the way to the NBA Finals. Matched up against the Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets' magical run ended with the Celtics taking the title.
After a couple more disappointing seasons, the Houston Rockets had the first overall selection in consecutive seasons in 1983 and 1984. With those draft selections, Houston took two centers, Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. While Sampson had a good career, Olajuwon became the best player in Rockets history. "Hakeem the Dream," as he became known, played seventeen seasons in Houston, helping lead them to three NBA Finals appearances and winning two of them in 1994 (against the New York Knicks) and 1995 (against the Orlando Magic). He was also a 12-time NBA All Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award in 1994. His number was retired in 2008. James Harden joined the Rockets in 2012 and the franchise has been rejuvenated. Their fan base loves going to games to see "The Beard" compete at a high level every night. In the offseason, the Rockets restocked, adding crucial pieces such as Chris Paul, Gerald Green, Nene, and Eric Gordon. They also hired Mike D'Antoni as head coach. He favors an up-tempo, offensive minded style of play that is fun to watch.
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