MANAGEMENT: Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is considered one of the NBA’s moneyball-type thinkers. Heavy into analytics, the deep study of statistics. Morey’s assistant is Sam Hinkie, an OU graduate from Marlow.
OWNERSHIP: Les Alexander has owned the Rockets for 20 years. He’s a former stock trader from New Jersey and is considered a solid NBA owner.
FRANCHISE LEGACY: For 40 years, Houston has had good big men. Elvin Hayes, originally, until the Rockets inexplicably traded him to the Bullets for Jack Marin. Malone. Sampson. Olajuwon. Yao Ming. Of course, this Houston team is built around its backcourt.
GREATEST PLAYERS: In addition to the big men, the Rockets’ greatest players ever are Calvin Murphy, the 5-foot-9 dynamo who scored almost 18,000 points, and Rudy Tomjanovich, the No. 3 scorer in Houston history who coached the great Olajuwon teams.
FRANCHISE ORIGIN: The Rockets started in San Diego in 1967, stayed four season and moved to Houston.
ALL-TIME COACHES: The Rockets have an interesting history of coaches. Alex Hannum, Wilt Chamberlain’s long-time coach with the Warriors and 76ers, coached the Rockets for two years in San Diego. Tex Winter, a big-time coach at Kansas State in the ’60s who is credited with helping Phil Jackson install the triangle offense with the Bulls, coached the Rockets from 1971-73. Del Harris and Bill Fitch each coached the Rockets to the Finals. Don Chaney, Elvin Hayes’ teammate at Houston U., then a long-time Celtic, coached the Rockets 1988-92. Then Rudy T., Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman and now McHale. The Rockets have actually had quite a consistency on the coaching front. Forty-six NBA seasons and 12 head coaches. Few franchises have been that stable.