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The Best Houston Rockets of All Time

Updated February 25, 2020 34.1k votes 4.5k voters 63.0k 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
    2,593
    277

    Age56

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Toronto Raptors

  • James Harden2
    2,388
    558

    James Harden

    Shooting guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    Number13

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

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  • Clyde Drexler3
    1,225
    270

    Clyde Drexler

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age58

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets

  • Moses Malone4
    1,353
    392

    Moses Malone

    Power forward, Center

    Age64

    BirthplaceVirginia

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

    More Moses Malone 

    #165 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#5 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

  • Yao Ming5
    1,623
    473

    Yao Ming

    Center

    Age39

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    More Yao Ming 

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

  • Tracy McGrady6
    1,750
    557

    Tracy McGrady

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age41

    BirthplaceBartow, Florida, United States of America

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

  • Calvin Murphy7
    572
    182

    Calvin Murphy

    Point guard

    Age72

    BirthplaceNorwalk, Connecticut, United States of America

    TeamsHouston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

    More Calvin Murphy 

    #110 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#80 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History

  • Chris Paul8
    717
    179

    Chris Paul

    Point guard

    Age35

    BirthplaceWinston-Salem, North Carolina

    Number3

    TeamsPhoenix Suns

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  • Elvin Hayes9
    688
    283

    Elvin Hayes

    Power forward, Center

    Age74

    BirthplaceRayville, Louisiana

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

  • Robert Horry10
    555
    201

    Robert Horry

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age49

    BirthplaceMaryland, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Kenny Smith11
    576
    242

    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

  • Ralph Sampson12
    552
    238

    Age59

    BirthplaceHarrisonburg, Virginia, United States of America

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

  • Vernon Maxwell13
    325
    116

    Vernon Maxwell

    Shooting guard

    Age55

    BirthplaceGainesville, Florida

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

  • Eric Gordon14
    345
    97

    Eric Gordon

    Shooting guard

    Age32

    BirthplaceIndianapolis, Indiana

    Number10

    TeamsHouston Rockets

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    #21 of 53 The Best Current Wing Players in the NBA#9 of 65 The Greatest Indiana Hoosiers Basketball Players of All Time

  • Rudy Tomjanovich15
    390
    168

    Rudy Tomjanovich

    Power forward

    Age71

    BirthplaceHamtramck, Detroit, Michigan

    TeamsHouston Rockets, San Diego Rockets

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    #86 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History#9 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time

  • Steve Francis16
    657
    331

    Steve Francis

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age42

    BirthplaceUSA, Takoma Park, Maryland

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks

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    #40 of 69 All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked#50 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

  • Dikembe Mutombo17
    455
    188

    Age53

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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

  • Otis Thorpe18
    369
    172

    Otis Thorpe

    Power forward, Center

    Age57

    BirthplaceBoynton Beach, Florida

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

  • Charles Barkley19
    715
    395

    Charles Barkley

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age57

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

  • Sam Cassell20
    337
    152

    Sam Cassell

    Point guard

    Age51

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

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

    More Sam Cassell 

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

  • Clint Capela21
    365
    62

    Clint Capela

    Center

    BirthplaceGeneva, Switzerland

    Number15

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    More 

    #77 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today#59 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • Shane Battier22
    277
    133

    Shane Battier

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age42

    BirthplaceBirmingham, Michigan

    Number31

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Trevor Ariza23
    313
    181

    Trevor Ariza

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age35

    BirthplaceMiami, Florida

    Number0

    TeamsSacramento Kings

    More Trevor Ariza 

    #19 of 42 The Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All Time#34 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • Mario Elie24
    174
    65

    Mario Elie

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

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

  • P. J. Tucker25
    156
    23

    P. J. Tucker

    Small forward

    Age34

    BirthplaceRaleigh, North Carolina

    Number17

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    More P. J. Tucker 

    #152 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History#122 of 294 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today