A Look at the top Houston Rockets of all-time by U.S. State

Houston Rockets Scottie Pippen (Photo by DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Scottie Pippen (Photo by DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Patrick Beverley (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

Illinois – Patrick Beverley

5 Seasons – 9.3 PPG, 4.1 REB, 3.4 AST

After California and New York, Illinois has offered the most players to the Houston Rockets with 17. With so many to choose from, it’s a testament to Patrick Beverley that he’s the top pick from The Prairie State.

The Chicago-born guard ended up being quite a draft steal, given that he was selected as the 42nd overall pick by Houston in 2009. Unfortunately, injuries didn’t allow Beverley to ever live up to his fullest potential on the Rockets, but he still managed to make NBA All-Defensive First and Second teams in Houston.

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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Eric Gordon (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Indiana – Eric Gordon

4 Seasons – 16.5 PPG, 2.4 REB, 2.1 AST

Currently in his fourth season with the Rockets, Eric Gordon has established himself as a sniper throughout his career. Joining the team in 2016, Gordon immediately became the first option off the bench, putting up 16.2 minutes per game and earning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

While he’s struggled this season so far (likely due to injury), Gordon is still third all-time among Rockets in 3-pointers made behind only James Harden and Trevor Ariza. The 31-year-old recently showed what he’s still capable of when he hung 50 points on the Utah Jazz in their own building to lead Houston to a severely short-handed victory.

Honorable mention: Allen Leavell

Iowa – Kevin Kunnert

5 Seasons – 10.4 PPG, 8.4 REB, 1.6 AST

There have only been four Rockets that have hailed from Iowa and the 7-footer Kevin Kunnert stands above them all. From Dubuque, Iowa, Kunnert played in Houston from 1973-78 before heading to the San Diego Clippers.

Kunnert played in 20 playoff games for the Rockets between 1974-77, averaging 10.1 points and 8.4 rebounds in that span.

Houston Rockets
Lionel Hollins (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Kansas – Lionel Hollins

1 Season – 7.6 PPG, 2.2 REB, 5.2 AST

Believe it or not, only two players that were born in Kansas have ever played with the Houston Rockets: Adrian Griffin and Lionel Hollins. Both spent one season with the team — Griffin showing up in just 19 games while Hollins played in 80.

Hollins was in the league for nine seasons before joining the Rockets in 1984, and in that span was selected as an NBA All-Star, made two All-Defensive teams and won an NBA title. Hollins currently serves as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kentucky – Derek Anderson

1 Season – 10.8 PPG, 4.2 REB, 2.7 AST

Although Derek Anderson only appeared in 20 games for the Rockets, he still ranks higher than the five other Kentucky-born players that spent time in Houston.

As a journeyman throughout his 11 years in the league, Anderson averaged double figures in scoring for six of the seven teams he played for, including the Rockets. Anderson was traded to the Miami Heat in 2006, just before they went on to win the NBA title that year.

Louisiana – Elvin Hayes

7 Seasons – 20.6 PPG, 12.2 REB, 1.9 AST

The small town of Rayville, Louisiana produced a superstar in Elvin Hayes. A 12-time All-Star, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and Hall of Famer, Hayes began his career with the San Diego Rockets as the first overall pick in 1968.

Elvin spent his first four seasons as a Rocket before spending time elsewhere but eventually returned to the team to close out his last three seasons in Houston. Hayes is also one of five numbers retired by the University of Houston’s men’s basketball team.

Honorable mention: Clyde Drexler

Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Steve Francis (GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

Maryland – Steve Francis

6 Seasons – 19.0 PPG, 6.0 REB, 6.3 AST

The Houston Rockets were the lucky beneficiaries when Steve Francis notified the Vancouver Grizzlies he didn’t want to suit up for them after they selected him in 1999. In what was the largest trade in NBA history at the time, Francis found himself in Houston before the start of the season.

Francis only made the playoffs once in his career, averaging 19.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.6 assists. In his six seasons with Houston, Steve would earn three NBA All-Star nods and become one of the most dynamic and dazzling players to ever suit up for the franchise.

Honorable mention: Sam Cassell

Massachusetts – Toby Kimball

4 Seasons – 7.3 PPG, 8.4 REB, 1.3 AST

Back in 1965, the Boston Celtics drafted Toby Kimball 26th overall. The 6-6 forward hardly saw the floor in Boston but got his chance after joining the San Diego Rockets the following season.

Kimball’s best season came in 1967-68 when he put up 11.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game through 81 games played. He would end up retiring as a member of the New Orleans Jazz after the 1974-75 season.

Next: Michigan - North Carolina

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