18 people who turned their back on the Houston Rockets franchise

NBA All-Star Game 2016
NBA All-Star Game 2016 / Elsa/GettyImages
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11. LeBron James

After the 2017-18 season that saw the Rockets come eerily close to reaching the NBA Finals, Houston’s front office realized a need to get a third star, as the Golden State Warriors had eliminated them from the postseason on three separate occasions. The Warriors had eliminated the Rockets twice before even adding Kevin Durant in 2016.

The Rockets need to counter, and LeBron James, one of the game’s greatest players of all-time, just so happened to be a free agent. James also happened to be long-time friends with Chris Paul, who the Rockets had acquired just one year prior, which the Rockets’ brass was hoping to use to their advantage.

It was known that James was likely to join the Los Angeles Lakers, but he was still meeting with other teams, such as the Philadelphia 76ers. James, however, didn’t grant the Rockets a meeting, as he wasn’t too keen on Houston, as a city, according to Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal.

“I think the teams that have been mentioned (76ers, Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets) are desirable places to live. But I will tell you this, I heard this from his own lips when we were in Houston this season. He does not like Houston as a city. So, that would require him moving to a place that he’s not crazy about.”

Even if this was the case, the Rockets could’ve possibly changed his mind if they had been granted a meeting. And considering the Rockets’ infrastructure at the time, James’ best chance at a ring that season may have been in Houston.