The 90’s contributed some, uh, “interesting” jersey graphics, and the above jersey is no exception. The Rockets decided their name wasn’t descriptive enough, so they decided to put it into a picture. And luckily for us, this picture includes a personified rocket complete with a mean-muggin’ face. Thanks, Houston, for this wonderful piece of design–it will forever be etched into my memory.
Meanwhile, let us not forget the name on the back of the jersey: Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. I grew up as a fan of David Robinson and Shaquille, so it perplexes my peers as to why I also like Hakeem or have his jersey. I’m not a religious man, but as the bible says: “Love your enemies.” Firstly, it must be mentioned that the man never had played or really known of basketball until he was 15 years old. Unheard of, especially in today’s world of prep stars. In the 1994-95 season, the dude managed to take out then-MVP David Robinson in the WCF and the up-and-coming Shaq in the Finals en route to winning Finals MVP. He had a team around him sure, but his stifling defense and crafty post play were at the heart of the Rockets’ success. Oh, and lest we forget, the previous season, Hakeem won Defensive POY and MVP as he and the Rockets cruised toward the NBA Finals, this time dominating Patrick Ewing and the Knicks to win Finals MVP. In fact, that season marks the only time in NBA history that a player has won MVP, DPOY, and Finals MVP in one season. So, just to be clear–In Jordan’s 2 year absence Hakeem won two NBA championships, one MVP, one DPOY, and 2 Finals MVPs. Not too shabby…probably only Jahidi White could have taken the Rockets as far in Hakeem’s shoes.
Have any memories of the Rockets or Hakeem? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and to like us on Facebook.