The Five Greatest Houston Rockets Who Played in the All-Star Game: A List That Might Surprise You
The Houston Rockets have only sent 14 different players to the NBA All Star game. The team's most celebrated All Stars have routinely been big men and the playground atmosphere of the game does not lend itself to players who need help getting the ball leading to some forgettable performances.
Still, Houston's all stars include some of the franchise's greatest players and a number of hall of famers.
James Harden will be the 15th Rocket to play in an All-Star game. "It's real," he said, "Being traded to Houston, it's my first year [here], and my first time being an All-Star just makes it even more special."
He will enter the record books with these all time great Rocket All-Stars.
5. Steve Francis "Stevie Franchise" made the All Star team three times and was the runner up to Vince Carter in one of the best slam dunk contests ever. In 2003, he scored 20 points in the first ever double-overtime game in All Star history. The game was also notable in that it was the first time the league allowed online balloting, and fellow Rocket Yao Ming was controversially voted as a starter thanks to massive Internet voting, particularly from China.
4. Tracy McGrady T-Mac spent a turbulent five-and-a-half seasons in Houston, but at his best, he was a scoring machine and that was never more on display than when he put up a game-high 37 points in 26 minutes in the last All Star game to be played in Houston (2006). The Eastern Conference, behind 21-year-old Lebron James, pulled out a two-point victory and kept McGrady from earning MVP honors in what would be his penultimate appearance in the game.
3. Moses Malone The long tradition of big men in Houston begins with Mo Malone. The rebounding machine spent six seasons in Houston and was an All Star in five of them. His best showing was the 1980 game when he had 20 points and, not surprisingly, 12 rebounds in 31 minutes on the floor.
2. Hakeem Olajuwon Without question, "The Dream" is the all time greatest Houston Rocket and is considered one of the greatest big men in NBA history. But his All Star resume is less than stellar. He reached double digits in rebounding and points in only five of his 12 appearances, but in 1988, a game that featured 14 future hall of famers and a 40-point barrage from Michael Jordan, he had 21 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
1. Ralph Sampson The second half of the "Twin Towers" with Olajuwon, Sampson's career was cut short by injuries. However, he is the only Rocket to win MVP of the All Star game. In his sophomore season, Sampson scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds starting alongside an alternate Tower in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar though he would get a chance to play with Olajuwon, who was a reserve.