11 Houston Rockets' role players who will never be forgotten

Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz, Game 4
Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz, Game 4 / Jonathan Ferrey/GettyImages
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7. Chuck Hayes

Chuck Hayes was a small-ball center before the term was even coined, as the Rockets big man stood 6-foot-6. But don't be fooled, just because Hayes was a bit undersized for the center position didn't mean that he got bullied around in the post.

In fact, it was quite the opposite. Hayes was strong as an ox and had a great base, which allowed him to bang in the post with the most elite big men in the league.

Hayes' value was on full display during the 2009 postseason series against the Lakers, as Rockets star big man Yao Ming went down with a broken foot in Game 3, which caused him to be unavailable for the remainder of the series. Hayes was inserted in Yao's absence and minimized Lakers star big man Pau Gasol offensively.

Although the Rockets were without Yao, they still took the eventual champion Lakers to seven games, becoming the only team to do that in the 2009 playoffs, and Hayes was a huge reason for that.