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The Best Houston Rockets of All Time

Updated February 25, 2020 33.2k votes 4.5k voters 63.3k views73 items

List RulesPlease rank the players based only on their time with the Rockets

A list of the best Houston Rockets of all time. For much of its history, the Houston Rockets have been one of the most consistent teams in the NBA. The team has had few poor seasons and they have, it's been to the Rockets benefit. The few times that Houston has had the number one draft pick, the team has struck gold landing some of the greatest players in team history. Few, if any, basketball experts would dispute that Elvin Hayes, Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming are among the best centers ever. All of have played center for Houston and all were drafted with the top overall pick in the NBA Draft. Though he wasn't drafted by Houston, Moses Malone is another great big man who has played for the Rockets.

While the Rockets have a rich history with big men, even having some of the best players ever on its roster, that doesn't mean the team has neglected other positions. Calvin Murphy is one of the best free shooting guards ever and the team's acquisition of James Harden made the Rockets one of the most dangerous in the league. Harden is considered one of the best current players in the NBA.

Nowadays, he is known to the masses as an announcer, but Kenny Smith's clutch shooting in the 1995 NBA Finals is one of the greatest in Rockets history and helped them win a second consecutive championship.

This is a list of the best Houston Rockets ever. If you see someone who is missing, feel free to add him. Vote or rerank this list of the greatest Houston Rockets of all time with who you think should be at the top. 

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  • Hakeem Olajuwon1
    2,517
    266

    Age56

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

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    #1 of 50 The Greatest African NBA Players of All Time#5 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

  • James Harden2
    2,303
    550

    James Harden

    Shooting guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    Number13

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    More James Harden 

    The Best Harden Vol. 3 Colorways, Ranked#466 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Clyde Drexler3
    1,189
    265

    Clyde Drexler

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age58

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets

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    #643 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time#18 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

  • Moses Malone4
    1,310
    380

    Moses Malone

    Power forward, Center

    Age64

    BirthplaceVirginia

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets

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    #5 of 25 The Best Power Forwards of the 80s#22 of 31 The Best Power Forwards of the 1990s

  • Yao Ming5
    1,573
    458

    Yao Ming

    Center

    Age39

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    TeamsHouston Rockets

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    #25 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings#24 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

  • Tracy McGrady6
    1,692
    537

    Tracy McGrady

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age41

    BirthplaceBartow, Florida, United States of America

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

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    #17 of 143 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon#12 of 26 The Best Dunkers In NBA History

  • Calvin Murphy7
    556
    179

    Calvin Murphy

    Point guard

    Age72

    BirthplaceNorwalk, Connecticut, United States of America

    TeamsHouston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

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    #111 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#10 of 25 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 1970s

  • Elvin Hayes8
    672
    272

    Elvin Hayes

    Power forward, Center

    Age74

    BirthplaceRayville, Louisiana

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

  • Chris Paul9
    688
    185

    Chris Paul

    Point guard

    Age35

    BirthplaceWinston-Salem, North Carolina

    Number3

    TeamsPhoenix Suns

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    The Coolest Chris Paul Signature Shoes, Ranked#14 of 54 The Most Hated Active NBA Players

  • Robert Horry10
    536
    198

    Robert Horry

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age49

    BirthplaceMaryland, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

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    #14 of 22 The Best Small Forwards of the 90s#17 of 56 People Who Should Be in the Basketball Hall of Fame

  • Ralph Sampson11
    537
    228

    Age59

    BirthplaceHarrisonburg, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors

  • Kenny Smith12
    563
    236

    Kenny Smith

    Point guard

    Age55

    BirthplaceJamaica, New York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsAtlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets

  • Vernon Maxwell13
    319
    113

    Vernon Maxwell

    Shooting guard

    Age55

    BirthplaceGainesville, Florida

    TeamsDallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic

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    #18 of 94 The Best NBA Players from Florida#8 of 52 The Greatest Florida Basketball Players of All Time

  • Eric Gordon14
    335
    99

    Eric Gordon

    Shooting guard

    Age32

    BirthplaceIndianapolis, Indiana

    Number10

    TeamsHouston Rockets

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    #9 of 65 The Greatest Indiana Hoosiers Basketball Players of All Time#27 of 76 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA

  • Rudy Tomjanovich15
    382
    161

    Rudy Tomjanovich

    Power forward

    Age71

    BirthplaceHamtramck, Detroit, Michigan

    TeamsHouston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

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    #80 of 232 The Best White Players in NBA History#10 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time

  • Steve Francis16
    634
    320

    Steve Francis

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age42

    BirthplaceUSA, Takoma Park, Maryland

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks

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    #210 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History#40 of 69 All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked

  • Dikembe Mutombo17
    438
    186

    Age53

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    TeamsAtlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets

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    #4 of 22 The Greatest Georgetown Basketball Players of All Time#61 of 115 The Funniest Professional Athletes

  • Otis Thorpe18
    363
    165

    Otis Thorpe

    Power forward, Center

    Age58

    BirthplaceBoynton Beach, Florida

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Kansas City Kings, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets

  • Charles Barkley19
    690
    381

    Charles Barkley

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age57

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

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    22 Times Charles Barkley Made Everyone LOL#4 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

  • Sam Cassell20
    329
    148

    Sam Cassell

    Point guard

    Age51

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

    TeamsDallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets

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    #131 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#49 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time

  • Shane Battier21
    268
    130

    Shane Battier

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age42

    BirthplaceBirmingham, Michigan

    Number31

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Clint Capela22
    350
    63

    Clint Capela

    Center

    BirthplaceGeneva, Switzerland

    Number15

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    More 

    #61 of 146 The Best European NBA Players of All Time#61 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • Mario Elie23
    175
    63

    Mario Elie

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors

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    #506 of 874 Big Grid relations#73 of 347 The Best NBA Players from New York

  • Trevor Ariza24
    303
    174

    Trevor Ariza

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age35

    BirthplaceMiami, Florida

    Number0

    TeamsSacramento Kings

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    #19 of 42 The Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All Time#67 of 126 The Best NBA Buys for the Money

  • P. J. Tucker25
    154
    24

    P. J. Tucker

    Small forward

    Age34

    BirthplaceRaleigh, North Carolina

    Number17

    TeamsHouston Rockets

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    #149 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History#119 of 294 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today