The 10 best Houston Rockets players are among the NBA’s all-time greats. Houston has long been a stop for top-tier talent. Here’s our list of the ten great Rockets of all time.
- Hakeem Olajuwon. Olajuwon isn’t just one of the ten best Houston Rocket players – he was named one of the 50 Best Players of All Time by the NBA. He’s one of only eight players in history with over 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds, is the all-time blocked shots leader, the 7th all-time top scorer, and helped drive the Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles in ’94 and ’95.
- Moses Malone. Another of the 50 Best Players of All Time, Malone spent 21 years in the NBA, having entered the league directly from high school. He’s one of the leagues all-time great centers, and the third-leading rebounder and sixth-leading scorer in combined NBA/ABA history. Malone did great things in Houston as one of the Rocket’s ten best players, and has the distinction of being called, on the NBA’s official site, “a lean and lanky 6-10 man-child.”
- Elvin Hayes. With 27,313 points scored, The Big E is the NBA’s sixth leading scorer of all time. The power forward had hella turnaround jay skills, and dominated in the paint, as his 16,279 boards attest to (good for 4th of all time). One of the NBA’s 50 Best Players, Hayes was also one of the ten Rockets greats, and is now a rancher and owns a car dealership
- Clyde Drexler. Clyde the Glide is a Houston native with maximum hang time. A 50 Greatest Players of All Time, Clyde was also a ten-time all-star and holds an Olympic Gold Medal from his performance with the Dream Team. Drexler played with Olajuwon in college, though would go on to lose the playoffs to Houston when he was with the Trailblazers. Eventually Clyde, one of the ten best Houston Rockets players, went to Houston, where he won his first NBA title.
- Calvin Murphy. Murphy has the highest free-throw percentage of all time. Along with Malone, he lead Houston to the ’81 title, scoring 36 and 42 points off the bench in two finals games. Calvin is one of the best Rockets of all time not just for his performances as a player, but also the various positions he’s held with the team after retiring, including a television analyst.
- Charles Barkley. At 6’4”, Sir Charles dominated as a power forward. He’s one of the four players in NBA history to have 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists, and one NBA’s Top 50 Players of All Time list. Barkley could shoot the three, dunk on massive defenders, and rebound like no other. Charles is surely one of the ten best Rocket players of all time.
- Otis Thorp. Thorp spent seven seasons with the Rockets, and proved a fan favorite throughout his time in Houston. He’s got the highest field goal percentage of all-time for Houston, and managed over 10,000 rebounds and 17,000 points during his career. Thorp was an indispensable addition to the great Olajuwon-lead Rockets.
- Rudy Tomjanovich. Tomjanovich’s career was regrettably foreshortened when the strangely named Kermitt Washington destroyed his face with a haymaker. Rudy T is one of the highest-scoring Rockets of all time, averaging 17.4 points, with 8.1 rebounds. One of the ten best Houston Rockets, he also made five all-star game appearances.
- Yao Ming. Yao stands at seven and a half feet. He averaged 19.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.95 blocks with the Rockets. Ming has started in seven all-star games, posted 209 career double-doubles, and ranks second in Rocket’s history with 912 blocks. One of the ten best Houston Rockets Players, Mao also founded The Yao Ming Foundation, to raise awareness of child welfare issues in the US and China.
- Tracy McGrady. T Mac had 23 30+ point performances and three 40+ point performances in one season with the Rockets. Along with Yao, McGrady lead at the Rockets to the playoffs. One of the ten best Houston Rocket Player, McGrady will always be remember for dunking on 7’6” Shawn Bradley.
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