GossipSloth

20 Facts About the Houston Rockets

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The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas.

Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico.

Houston Rockets Projected Roster - GameTime Discussion | 2017-18 NBA Season by Real Ximo Pierto

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The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division.

The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

Amin Elhassan On Rockets Closing Gap On Warriors: 'h*ll No! | SportsNation | ESPN by ESPN

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The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston.

Downtown Houston is Houston's central business district, containing the headquarters of many prominent companies.

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The Rockets have won two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles.

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The team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego, in 1967.

An expansion team is a brand new team in a sports league, usually from a city that has not hosted a team in that league before, formed with the intention of satisfying the demand for a local team from a population in a new area.

San Diego is a major city in California, in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

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In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston.

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The Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967.

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In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season.

Elvin Ernest Hayes is an American retired professional basketball player and radio analyst for his alma-mater Houston Cougars.

The 1968 NBA draft was the 22nd annual draft of the National Basketball Association.

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The Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone.

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Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team.

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He also led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.

Larry Joe Bird is an American professional basketball executive, former coach and former player, currently serving as president of the Indiana Pacers in the National Basketball Association.

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In 1984, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA.

Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, formerly known as Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player.

Year 34 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.

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Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics.

The 1986 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association 's 1985–86 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs.

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The Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987.

The Seattle SuperSonics, commonly known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington.

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Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history.

Rudolph "Rudy" Tomjanovich Jr. is an American retired basketball player and coach who coached the Houston Rockets to two consecutive NBA championships.

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Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks.

1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1994th year of the Common Era and Anno Domini designations, the 994th year of the 2nd millennium, the 94th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1990s decade.

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The following season, the Rockets reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, repeated as champions as the sixth seed in the West and swept the Orlando Magic, led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, in four games.

Anfernee Deon "Penny" Hardaway is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association, specializing as an unconventionally tall point guard.

Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is a retired American professional basketball player and former rapper who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA.

Clyde Austin "The Glide" Drexler is an American retired professional basketball swingman.

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Houston became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title.

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The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals.

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Each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, and the Rockets of the early 21st century, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular-season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries.

Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player who is best known for his career in the National Basketball Association, where he played as both a shooting guard and small forward.

Yao Ming is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association.

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