Big men like Hakeem Olajuwon and Moses Malone are rightfully at the top of the list of best Houston Rockets ever, but smaller guys have also held their own over the years.
Basketball has always been a big man’s game. While height often helps, though, it doesn’t take being physically big to play big on the court. The Houston Rockets have had their share of extraordinary 7-footers, but even some of the smallest guys have made some of the biggest impacts throughout their time in Houston.
I can’t keep track of how many stories I’ve heard of guys turning to basketball in high school simply because they’re abnormally tall. It makes sense — being closer to the rim does give you a natural advantage, but that’s not nearly enough to become one of the greats on its own.
On the other end of the scale, there are guys like Allen Iverson, who had a Hall of Fame career and retired as one of the greatest to ever hit the hardwood, all while standing at 6-feet flat.
Throughout their 53-season existence, the Houston Rockets have had 23 total players that stood at the 6-foot-or-below mark. While many didn’t receive noteworthy minutes in H-Town, others turned out to leave quite a mark.
From old-school guys to currently active players, here are the top six smaller guys to ever pass through Houston, starting with number six.
Ty Lawson (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
6. Ty Lawson (5 ft. 11)
Stats as a Rocket: 5.8 PPG, 3.4 AST, 1.7 REB
Ty Lawson clearly had high-level talent, as he showed in his first six seasons with the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, the combination of a dropoff in playing quality and off-the-court behavior led to his stint with the Houston Rockets lasting only 53 games.
Before he was traded by the Nuggets in 2015, he averaged 14.2 points and 6.6 assists for them, helping them record 57 wins in the 2012-13 season.
In Houston, the 5-11 guard started in 12 of his total 53 games played but saw his minutes decrease from 35.5 minutes per game to just 22.2 under Kevin McHale. After being suspended two separate times for alcohol-related offenses, the Rockets waived Lawson on March 1, 2016.
Next: No. 5 & 4