It is offseason, and as in Houston Rockets The news slowed to a dodge (I meant to do that), many fans began to realize that basketball is months away from us. So let’s talk about the history of rockets.
The Rockets have a long list of great players, from guys like Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, James Harden, and of course GOAT Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Rockets have been one of the highest-grossing franchises in the NBA. Of course, the great players mentioned above had a lot to do with this, but in team sports, you can’t win on a consistent basis without a great support team. The Rockets have had a lot of great players over the years which have been a big part of Houston’s winning ways.
They also had men who were more than just role players. They were players who made all-star games and are in the Hall of Fame.
With no basketball for quite some time, this is the perfect time to discuss three understated Rockets and what made them such a vital part of the teams they’ve played for during their careers.
Played for The Rockets 1970-1983
Most Rockets fans know Calvin Murphy from his time on the Rockets broadcast and more recently as a studio analyst before and after matches. However, Murphy is more than just a TV personality. He had a long and distinguished playing career. Murphy was an all-American at Niagara University, averaging 33.1 points per game, making him one of the most prolific scorers in college history.
Murphy was drafted by the then San Diego Rockets before they moved to Houston. With the Rockets, Murphy made his first All-Rookie in 1971 and the All-Star Game in 1979. In the 1981 playoffs, Murphy scored a post-season high of 42 points in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals vs. San Antonio Spurs.
Murphy held the record for most consecutive free throws and highest number of free throws in a season for several years before breaking it. He was the Rockets’ all-time scoring leader and co-leader when he retired in 1983.
Murphy #23 was retired by the Rockets and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Played for The Rockets from 1988-1995
It’s only appropriate to talk about one if not the best striker in the history of the Rockets on his birthday. Otis Thorpe played seven seasons with the Rockets. He joined the Rockets after starting his career with Kansas City /Sacramento Kings.
Thorpe was the executor alongside Hakim Olaywan during his time in Houston. One of the best passers-by in NBA history, the OT made the All-Star team in 1992 as a member of the Rockets. He averaged 17.3 points per inch and 10.5 rebounds in his only All-Star season.
Of course, the highlight of his career came in 1993-94, when he helped the Rockets to their first championship in franchise history. During that season, he averaged another double double with 14 points and 10.6 rebounds.
The trade Otis Thorpe was part of what brought Clyde Drexler to Houston the following year talking about her more than Thorpe as a player. Thorpe was more than just a footnote in a bustling trade. He was the player who stopped Hakim on the front court and rarely missed a match. Thorpe played 542 consecutive games, a record at the time.
Thorpe must be remembered as a crucial player in the best season in the history of the Rockets.
Played in The Rockets 2007-2011 and 2012-2014
One of the fastest players in Rockets history, Aaron Brooks has had some of the best playoff moments in the last 15 years. Brooks began his career with the Rockets in 2007-08, playing on the bench in 51 games.
Brock’s career took off in 2009-2010 when he played and started all 82 games and averaged 19.6 points per game. That season, Brooks also won the MVP award. Brooks made his name in that year’s playoffs against Lakers. Even without Yao Ming, who picked up a foot injury at the end of the year (and pretty much ended his career) in Game 3 of the same Lakers series, he led the Los Angeles Rockets to seven games. Brooks averaged 18 points and fired 40 percent of the three-point range against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Although Brooks will trade with the Suns during the 2010-11 season, he will return to the Rockets in 2012-13, play two more seasons with the team, eventually ending his career playing for four full teams between 2013-2018.
Standing at only six feet tall, Brooks has played big in every game and is one of the best personal Rocket games I’ve ever seen. In six seasons for the Rockets, Brooks averaged 11.7 points and 3.3 assists with 40.8 percent of shooting from the field and 36.9 percent from outside the arc.