Mar 19, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Former Houston Rockets Clyde Drexler waves to the crowd as he is introduced during halftime of the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets game at Toyota Center in honor of the 20th anniversary the Rockets were honoring their 1993-94 and 1994-95 Champion NBA teams. Rockets won 118 to 108. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Less than two weeks ago the 2014-15 version of the Houston Rockets season came to a grinding halt. Perhaps what made their ousting so difficult was it came on the heels of their impassioned, gritty come back versus the Clippers. That achievement to overcome the 1-3 deficit was nothing short of spectacular and reminded all Rockets fans why Houston became known as Clutch City. Years from now fans young and old will recall where they were during that third quarter of Game 6 in 2105 when the Rockets mounted the amazing 19-point comeback. Perhaps what makes that Game 6 win special, and resonates so deeply is it was just two decades ago the team who fostered the term “Clutch City” rose to prominence.
Just a couple months ago, the Toyota Center honored members of the 1994 and 1995 teams at Rockets game which sparked our memories and fueled our hopes for this seasons’ squad.
And, while many of us are still licking our wounds it’s important to remember how successful the Rockets season was especially given the adversity they faced. I still find it incredible that Houston lost the second most man games due to injury (2nd only to the Lakers), yet still managed to capture the West’s second seed and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Sure, we wanted the holy grail but without a prototypical starting point guard available in this era of basketball the end goal was always going to be a long shot.
Personally, I felt losing both games in Oakland was the Rockets undoing, since the cumulative point differential of those two losses was a measly 5 points! Usually the faithful fans would be left to mire in their “what ifs” and disappointment for the summer with hopes for a steal in the draft or speculation on nabbing a solid free agent. But, this year, a special treat comes our way to help alleviate some of the angst we currently feel.
Tonight on NBA TV and various channels throughout North America (KHOU in Houston) a special program titled “Clutch City” will air to commemorate the 2o-year anniversary of the Houston Rockets back-to-back championship seasons. At the forefront will likely be the acquisition of Hakeem Olajuwon, the mentorship of head coach Rudy Tomjanovich and the tough nosed team assembled around him. Certainly there will be time spent explaining the old moniker of “Choke City” and how the 1994 and 1995 championship teams overcame that brutal label to become Clutch City.
Fran Blinebury of nba.com saw the pre-screening and gives rave reviews for the program.
— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) June 8, 2015
Though I live in Toronto, Canada we actually have some additional programming featured today, all on NBA TV Canada:
- Earlier today an hour long program: Clutch City: 1994 Houston Rockets airs with highlights of the team’s drive to the NBA Championship.
- And this is followed by another hour long program: Double Clutch: The Houston Rockets Second Championship which will feature highlights and interviews of the Rockets’ quest and subsequent repeat as NBA Champions.
- Prior to the main program (running an hour and a half) airing at 9 P.M. Eastern a special half hour Countdown to Clutch City is scheduled to air on NBA TV.
- Clutch City debuts at 9 P.M. Eastern
Notably the top two programs will feature player interviews from a time much closer to when the championships occurred, so personally I’m excited to see how each of the players views the back to back wins in retrospect.
I imagine there will be similar (or exact) programs running in Houston throughout the day. I assume NBA TV will provide coverage in Houston as well, but also found a listing stating KHOU would air the debut.
Make sure to set you DVR’s to capture the program for posterity. My guess is there will be wide spread viewership of the program by the current NBA players and if I had to lay money on it, I’d bet there will be 15 players who’ll be watching to find their own inspiration for 2015-16.
After viewing, come to Space City Scoop and tell us what you thought of the program and which moments it sparked in your memory bank.