Houston Rockets

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: General Entry

Published: February 1, 1995

Updated: March 22, 2017

The Houston Rockets, a professional basketball team formerly known as the San Diego Rockets, belongs to the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association. The team was founded in San Diego, California, on January 11, 1967,when Robert Breitbard, the club's first president, received the original franchise for the team, the association's twelfth member. The name "Rockets," a result of the association of San Diego with space-age industry, won a contest among fans. In 1971 a group of Houston investors known as Texas Sports Investments, Incorporated, bought the franchise and moved it to Houston. It was subsequently acquired by Texas Pro Sports in 1973; by James Talcott, Incorporated, in 1975; by Basketball Venture in 1976; and by the Maloof Companies in 1979. Former auto dealer Charles F. Thomas purchased the club in 1982, and Leslie J. Alexander bought it in 1993. The Rockets have played at Summit Stadium in Houston since it opened in 1975. Games are broadcast in English and Spanish. By 1993 the Rockets had played 2,132 games in twenty-six seasons, played in the NBA finals in 1981 and 1986, and had a record of 1,015 wins and 1,117 losses. In the 1992–93 season, the team had a franchise record of fifty-five wins and its second Midwest Division championship. At that time, management included head coach Rudy Tomjanovich, general manager Steve Patterson, and E. C. Schmidt II as president. Among the team's outstanding players have been Hakeem Olajuwon, Tree Rollins, and Moses Malone.

The team has been involved in Houston community projects including Basketball for the Blind, Corporate Partners with Education, Toys for Tots, the Booster Shots child immunization program, and scholarships to metropolitan-area students. A foundation known as the Houston Rockets Charities was established to raise funds for local causes, and the team sponsors an annual golf tournament to benefit the Big Brothers and Sisters of Houston. The Rockets opened the 1993–94 season winning their first fifteen games and tying an NBA record. Later that season, with a record of 22 to 1, they lost their second game and came up one game short of tying the record for the best start in the NBA.

Houston Rockets 1992–1993 Media Guide (Houston: Rockets Media Information Department, 1992).

  • Sports and Recreation
  • Sports (Basketball)
  • Teams
Time Periods:
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana J. Kleiner, “Houston Rockets,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/houston-rockets.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

February 1, 1995
March 22, 2017

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: