50th Anniversary Commemorative
Few teams in professional sports have forged a connection with their fans like the Houston Rockets. Fueled by great ownership, smart management, superstar talent, and selfless teammates that consistently put the franchise in a position to succeed, the Rockets have created a winning atmosphere on and off the court.
The Rockets began as a San Diego-based expansion team in 1967 and quickly established themselves in 1968 when they drafted their first superstar, Elvin Hayes. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Hayes led the Rockets to their first playoff appearance in just their second year of existence. The franchise drafted two more Rockets greats, Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich, before it relocated to Houston and became the first NBA team in Texas.
As the newly minted Houston Rockets, the team opened their doors to more all-time greats like Moses Malone and Ralph Sampson, and in 1984 drafted Hakeem Olajuwon, who went on to become one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Leslie Alexander took over the team in 1993, and with “The Dream” as its centerpiece, the franchise delivered back-to-back NBA Championships in 1994 and 1995. The Rockets gained the NBA’s first truly global fan base when Mr. Alexander drafted future Hall of Famer Yao Ming from China in 2002, and the new era of Rockets basketball began in 2012 when they traded for James Harden, who has blossomed into one of the top superstars in the league.
Celebrating 50 Seasons: The Official History of the Houston Rockets traces the franchise’s roots from those early years in San Diego to back-to-back World Champions to their current status of perennial contender. Hundreds of photographs chronicle the Rockets’ history, celebrating all the personalities who made the Rockets what they are today. Whether you watch the Rockets at Toyota Center or cheer from afar, this singular keepsake will give you a new and deeper appreciation for Houston Rockets Basketball.