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 Clyde Drexler (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Clyde Drexler (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

. . Shooting Guard. Clyde Drexler. 11. 169


  • Four seasons with the Rockets (1994-98)

  • Averaged 19 points and 4.3 rebounds per game

  • 2x All-Star and 1x NBA Champion with the Rockets

Clyde Drexler is another example of a player whose prime years were clearly elsewhere, but the damage he did in his short amount of time with the Rockets was enough to land him solidly on this list.

After all, Drexler arrived from the Portland Trail Blazers during the 1994-95 season, just in time to help with the push for a championship. Drexler was the classic mid-season addition, only this time, the addition worked.

After 11-plus seasons in Portland and eight All-Star appearances, Drexler joined the Rockets with 35 games remaining in the regular season. He didn’t miss a beat, averaging 22 points per game the rest of the way in the regular season. Drexler put up an impressive 20.5 points, seven rebounds, and five rebounds per game across 22 playoff games en route to hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Drexler continued to dominate well into his 30s, making the All-Star team in both 1996 and 1997 with the Rockets, averaging 19.3 and 18 points per game in those seasons, respectively.

In 1997-98, his age-35 season, Drexler still managed to put up 18.4 points per game, although the team went just 41-41 and suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of the Utah Jazz.

Drexler was a remarkable, Hall of Fame player who did the bulk of his work with a different team. But a mid-season acquisition that led to a championship, plus two All-Star appearances in just three-and-a-half seasons means that Drexler is No. 11, and just missed cracking the top-10.

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