The Houston Rockets have a rich tradition of winning in the NBA. They won two titles in the 1990s with the assistance of of Hakeem Olajuwon. Olajuwon won the Finals MVP both times. The Rockets play in the Toyota Center, in the heart of downtown Houston. The stadium is one of the newest in the league.
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The San Diego Rockets were founded in 1967 as an expansion team. After 4 slow years in California, the Rockets moved to Houston where they have stayed ever since. Things picked up in Texas, especially when the Rockets signed future MVP Moses Malone. Malone and the Rockets faced the Boston Celtics in 1981. The Celtics took the title in six games.
The Rockets traded Malone away for financial reasons in 1982. Luckily, they won first pick in the 1983 draft, where they selected Ralph Sampson. Sampson won the NBA Rookie of the Year award despite his team's poor performance. The following year, the Houston again received the 1st pick in the draft. They selected Hakeem Olajuwon. Sampson and Olajuwon helped the team improve by 19 games, and both players were named NBA All-Stars.
In the 1985-1986 season, the Rockets were dominant. Finishing with a record at 51-31, they made it to the playoffs with ease. They swept the Sacramento Kings in the first round, beat the Nuggets 4-2 in the second round, then beat the Lakers in 5 games to advance to the Finals. The Rockets put up a fight, but ultimately, the Celtics prevailed in 6 games.
The Rockets struggled to find success again until 1993 when they won 55 regular season games and made a playoff appearance. The following year, Olajuwon led the Rockets to a 15-0 start and won MVP and Defensive player of the year. He also led them through a dominant march through the 1994 playoffs. Averaging 27 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks per game, Olajuwon was named Finals MVP the year the Rockets won their first NBA title. The following year he repeated his Finals MVP performance and led the Rockets to their second title.
Today, the Rockets sport one of the youngest rosters in the NBA. Led by MVP candidate James Harden, the Rockets made a playoff appearance in 2013, but lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. With Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons also in the mix, this Rockets team has a ton of potential.
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