Houston Rockets: 30 Greatest players in franchise history

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Houston Rockets, Kenny Smith, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Horry, Otis Thorpe

HOUSTON – JUNE 22: Hakeem Olajuwon #34, Kenny Smith #30, Robert Horry #25, Vernon Maxwell #11 and Otis Thorpe #33 of the Houston Rockets. Copyright 1994 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets are a franchise with an impressive history, with 34 playoff appearances in 53 seasons. Let’s take a look at the best players to ever don a Rockets jersey and rank them, one through 30.

The Houston Rockets franchise began in San Diego in 1967. The team was only in Southern California for four seasons before moving to Texas prior to the 1971-72 campaign and have been in Houston ever since.

In 53 seasons as a franchise, the Rockets have been in the playoffs 34 times, including 20 times in 25 years from 1974 to 1999. That span included two NBA championships under coach and former Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich.

There are plenty of recognizable names who have suited up for the Rockets over the last half-century or so. That list includes a few star players who only saw a cup of coffee in Houston, as well as some players who were simply solid contributors over a longer time frame.

We’ve factored both such scenarios into our ranking and done our best to strike a proper balance between stellar play for a short burst and good-but-not-great play over an extended period.

This list considers each ‘tenure in Houston only, and not their accomplishments in other uniforms.

Without further ado, let’s get into it with No. 30.


Robert Reid

Small Forward, Rockets

  • 10 seasons with the Rockets (1977-88)
  • Averaged 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game

Right off the bat, we start with a player who was nearly a career-long Rocket and made a consistent, albeit unspectacular, commitment to his squad for an entire decade.

Robert Reid was a second-round draft pick by the Rockets in 1977. Reid stepped into the rotation right away, averaging 23.1 minutes per game as a rookie, while appearing in 80 games. He was a mainstay in the rotation over his first five seasons in the league, averaging 12.1 points and six rebounds per game, while appearing in 397 of 410 possible games.

But Reid retired prior to the 1982-83 season, taking a year away from the game before returning in the fall of 1983. He only had one more effective season in terms of scoring the ball, averaging 14 points and 5.3 rebounds per game upon his return.

Starting in 1984, however, his minutes began to decline, as he moved back to the bench prior to turning 30 years old. Reid played five more years in Houston following his initial retirement before finishing out his career splitting his final two season between the Portland Trail Blazers, the Charlotte Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Reid ranks ninth all-time with the Rockets in win shares due to his longevity and consistent play. He was a mainstay on a series of playoff teams, but wasn’t a major player on any of the most memorable Rockets clubs.

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