Top five point guards in Houston Rockets history

Qualifiers: the Houston Rockets have more than 40 years of history, so players should have at least two seasons with the team. Also, players will be classified under one position even if they played at more than one. For example, while Clyde Drexler played both shooting guard and small forward, he will only appear on one list.

Calvin Murphy:

Hall of Fame guard Calvin Murphy spent his entire career with the San Diego and Houston Rockets from 1970 to 1983. Murphy was a speedy sharpshooting point guard and the first Rocket to play 1,000 games. He helped the Rockets reach their first NBA Finals in 1981 He set Rockets' all-time records with 17,949 points, 4,402 assists and 1,165 steals, though Hakeem Olajuwon later shattered the points and steals totals. Murphy maintained career averages of 17.9 points and 4.4 assists and he scored more than 20 points per game five times.

Kenny Smith:

The Rockets' starting point guard for most of the 1990s, Kenny Smith helped the team win its two NBA Championships in 1994 and 1995. Before joining the TNT studio team, Smith had a diverse skill set on the court and enjoyed a great prime in Houston. Over 468 games with the Rockets, the Jet averaged 12.6 points, 5.3 assists and 1.1 threes with shooting percentages of .490 from the field, .407 from downtown and .857 from the line.

Steve Francis(notes):

Three-time All-Star guard Steve Francis began his career with five great years in Houston from 1999 to 2004. Though he boasted the same capacity for logical thought as the average apple, Francis was an excellent scoring guard who had the ability to take over games. He earned co-Rookie of the Year honors in 2000 and went to All-Star games in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Francis averaged 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 384 games with Houston.

John Lucas(notes):

Former number one draft pick John Lucas spent five nonconsecutive seasons with the Rockets in the 1970s and 1980s. Lucas had an up-and-down career marred by cocaine abuse, but he played some great basketball in Houston. He posted averages of 11.6 points and 7.3 assists as a Rocket with an overall assist average of 7.0 over 14 seasons. His career total of 6,454 assists ranks 22nd in NBA history.

Sleepy Floyd:

One-time All-Star point guard Sleepy Floyd finished his prime years in Houston. Floyd played three seasons as a starter and three as a reserve with the Rockets from 1987 to 1993. As a starter, Floyd maintained averages of 13.2 points, 7.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He totaled 12,260 points, 5,175 assists and 1,120 steals in 13 NBA seasons.

Honorable mention: Though his best years came later, Sam Cassell(notes) began his career in Houston and contributed to both Rockets' championships in 1994 and 1995.


Houston Rockets Franchise Index,

Bruce Newman, "Three Strikes And He's … back," Sports Illustrated

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Updated Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011