Top 3 Houston Rockets Centers of All-Time
The NBA has historically featured some of the finest athletes to ever grace a professional sports arena, and is one of the most popular sports for online streaming in the last decade.
In a sport where big is seen as beautiful, the position of center is undoubtedly one of the most important for any successful team.
Players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain have etched their names into basketball folklore for their exploits on the court in that role.
Bill Russell and Shaquille O’Neal are others who are regularly included on lists of the 10 best centers In NBA history, highlighting the star quality needed to excel in the position.
The Houston Rockets have had plenty of centers who have excelled in the NBA, so read on as we reveal who we feel stand head and shoulders above the rest.
In addition to being rated as the best center in the history of the franchise, Olajuwon has a strong case for being classed as the greatest Rockets player of all-time.
Drafted as the number one pick in 1984, ‘The Dream’ was the heartbeat of Houston’s championship winning teams in 1994 and 1995.
While many centers rely on their strength, Olajuwon was renowned for using finesse to leave defenders trailing in his wake.
He leads the Rockets in numerous statistical categories including games played, points, rebounds and field goals made.
Olawujon was also extremely strong defensively and still holds the record for the most blocks in NBA history with 3,830.
Malone spent just six seasons in Houston, but his efforts saw the Rockets progress to the play-offs on four consecutive occasions from 1979 to 1982.
Having limped to a 40-42 record during the regular season in 1980/81, Malone inspired the team to make it all the way to the NBA Finals.
They were eventually beaten in six games by the Boston Celtics, but would never have progressed to the Finals without Malone in the team.
A first round play-off defeat in the following year led to Malone leaving the club to sign for the Philadelphia 76ers where he won the championship in his debut year.
He averaged 24 points and 15 rebounds in 464 games for the Rockets.
Yao Ming’s selection as the number one overall pick in the 2002 was a landmark moment in the history of the NBA.
He was the first international player to be drafted first overall without playing a single game of college basketball.
Many pundits wrote off Yao before he took to the court in Houston, predicting that the Rockets would live to regret adding him to their roster.
However, he proved his detractors wrong, averaging 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in a seven-year stint in Houston.
Injuries unfortunately cut short his career, but Yao fully deserves to be included amongst the greatest centers ever to play for Houston.