NBA News

Houston Rockets: 20 Years and Counting: The 5 Greatest Moments In The Les Alexander Era

By Michael Ma
6 of 6

1. Don’t Ever Underestimate The Heart Of A Champion!

Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler Celebrate after winning the 1995 NBA Finals

After the Rockets won the ’94 Finals, the Rockets traded for Clyde Drexler during the 1994-’95 season. Drexler had played at the University of Houston alongside Olajuwon, and the two paired up for an improbable playoff run.

The Rockets entered the ’95 playoffs as the 6th seed in the West, and upset the Utah Jazz, who had won 60 games, in the first round. The trailed the Phoenix Suns 2-0 in the next round before taking the series in 7 games, and beat the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, who won 62 games, in the conference finals.

They met a young, upstart Orlando Magic team that was lead by Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal. The center matchup of Olajuwon vs. O’Neal was seen by many as the passing of the torch before the series began. Olajuwon was the great one, while Shaq was the up-and-comer.

Olajuwon and the Rockets were no match, as they swept the Magic in 4 games. He took his 2nd consecutive Finals MVP, averaging 32 points in the series.

But the greatest moment came in the postgame celebration as then Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich uttered this famous phrase: