Houston Rockets: A Look Back At Otis Thorpe


(Photo by: Ken Levine/Getty Images)

Otis Thorpe was drafted by the Kansas City Kings as the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft. On October 11, 1988 he was traded by the Sacramento Kings to the Houston Rockets for Rodney McCray and Jim Petersen. Otis went on to play seventeen seasons in the NBA, seven and a half of which were played with the Houston Rockets..

Best known as a rebounding machine, Thorpe was also an efficient scorer, and a key member of the Rockets’ ’94 championship team. Thorpe averaged 20 and 10 for the Kings in 1987-88, but it was after being traded to the Rockets prior to the ’88-’89 season that he blossomed alongside Hakeem Olajuwon in the Houston front court. Thorpe was consistently among the league leaders in field goal percentage, made an All-Star team in ’92, and played in 542 consecutive games at one point. In the ’94 Playoffs, he averaged just shy of a double-double, with 11.3 points and 9.9 boards in 23 games.

In 1994, Thorpe was an integral part of the Houston Rockets’ first NBA Championship. He also holds the Rockets’ all-time record for the highest field goal accuracy (55.9%).

Thorpe holds career averages of 14.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He retired from the Charlotte Hornets in 2001, finishing his career with over 17,000 points and 10,000 rebounds in the NBA.

Here is a mix of Otis highlights with “Otis” by Jay Z and Kanye West as musical accompaniment.