Houston Rockets: 30 Greatest players in franchise history

By Ben Beecken
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets Otis Thorpe (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Otis Thorpe (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

169. . . Power Forward. Otis Thorpe. 13


  • Seven seasons with the Rockets (1988-95)

  • Averaged 15.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game

  • 1x All-Star, 1x NBA Champion with the Rockets

Otis Thorpe was the ninth pick of the 1984 draft by the then-Kansas City Kings. He played one year in Kansas City Kings before following the team to Sacramento, where he played three more seasons. Thorpe was traded to the Rockets prior to the 1988-89 campaign in the same trade that sent Rodney McCray (No. 15 on this list) to Sacramento.

Thorpe was a consistent scorer, averaging between 16.7 and 17.5 points per game in his first four seasons in Houston. He also pulled down his fair share of rebounds, hawking 9.7 per game over his Rockets career.

Thorpe started all 82 games in eight out of his first 10 seasons in the NBA, including five out of his six full seasons with the Rockets.

All of this meant that Thorpe was there during the Rockets’ revival as a franchise, as they won 45 games in 1988-89, 41 games the following year, and 51 games in 1990-91. That year, however, they were embarrassed in a first-round sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thorpe was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers prior to the 1995 trade deadline. Then, he spent two years with the Detroit Pistons and parts of seasons with the then-Vancouver Grizzlies, Sacramento (again), the Washington Wizards, the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets.

Thorpe was well-traveled, playing for eight teams over the course of 17 years, but the place he stopped at the longest — not to mention his only All-Star appearance and Finals win — came with the Rockets.

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