With a history dating back to 1967, the Houston Rockets have had a rollercoaster of a ride since their early days based in San Diego. The first few years were marked by a series of upsetting losses, but things finally began to take a turn for the best thanks to famous players like Moses Malone, Clyde Dexter, and Hakeem Olajuwon. Today, the Rockets boast 4 conference titles and 2 NBA Championships. Led by superstar James Harden, the team has been packing in the fans at Houston’s Toyota Center, so don’t wait long to get your tickets.
Debuting first in San Diego and later moving to Houston in 1971, the Rockets didn’t start their tenure strong. In fact, the team didn’t finish with a single winning season until 1977 following the signing of All-Star Moses Malone. Together with players like John Lucas and Rudy Tomjanovich, Malone would lead the Rockets to their first-ever division and conference titles, earning the MVP Award 2 times during his time with the team. In 1984, the Rockets signed Hakeem Olajuwon, who would go on to play all but 1 year of his professional career with the team. Alongside Clyde Dexter and Ralph Sampson, “The Dream” helped usher in the Rockets’ greatest era of success, taking 3 more conference titles and 2 back-to-back championships in 1994 and ‘95.
Over the course of the next 17 years, the team would sign All-Stars like Charles Barkley, Yao Ming, and Tracy McGrady, yet it wasn’t enough to lead the team past the Western Conference Finals. All that began to change, however, in the mid-2010s, when the Rockets acquired serious scorer James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Together with center Dwight Howard, Harden propelled the team to the 2015 Southwest Division title—their first in more than 20 years—and appearances in the NBA Playoffs each year since he signed. Today, under Head Coach Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets are regaining the prominence of the ‘90s, with a roster that also includes perennial All-Star Chris Paul, competitive Trevor Ariza, and top defender PJ Tucker. Grab your tickets to watch the team take on rivals like the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs.