Edition one of the HoopsHype 75 went well enough that many people liked it better than the official NBA one, so our sister publication is doing another round. The catch is that they’re adding another player to make it a 76-deep list, since this is the league’s 76th season.
The main difference between this list and the official NBA75 one is that HoopsHype is giving modern-era players their flowers, to a larger extent. Egregious omissions from the official list, such as Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, easily made it onto this ranking.
As was the case last year, HoopsHype held a team vote with the opinions of eight staff members, removed the highest and lowest rank for each, and awarded points from 76-1 for the rest.
Scroll on to see where former Houston Rockets were ranked, along with voting details, player accolades, and analysis from HoopsHype. You should check out the full HoopsHype list for all 76 updates.
No. 11: Hakeem Olajuwon
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Top accolades: Two NBA titles, two Finals MVPs, one MVP, six All-NBA 1st Team selections, 12 All-stars, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, five All-Defensive 1st Team selections
NBA rank: 1st in blocks, 9th in steals, 12th in points, 14th in rebounds, 214th in assists
Share of the vote: 88.33 percent of the maximum amount possible
The first international player on the list, Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the greatest big men ever, and he competed and produced at an elite level on both ends of the floor with outstanding low-post moves and defensive skills to match. Olajuwon ranks first in blocks on record, though there’s a bit of an asterisk on that because they didn’t keep track of those before 1973-74. Also, he is the only player to rank Top 14 in four different major statistical categories: points, rebounds, blocks and steals.
Rockets seasons: 1984-85 through 2000-01
No. 16: Moses Malone
Jim Cummins/NBAE via Getty Images
Top accolades: One NBA title, one Finals MVP, three MVPs, eight All-NBA selections, 12 All-Stars, two All-Defensive Team selections
NBA rank: 5th in rebounds, 10th in scoring, 27th in blocks, 135th in steals
Share of the vote: 80.0 percent of the maximum amount possible
Perhaps the most underappreciated superstar ever, Moses Malone was as dominant as it gets at the center spot with physical toughness as a rebounder, leading the league in nightly boards an astounding six times, including once at 17.6 rebounds per game. Malone was also a monster scorer in the paint, using his brute strength to batter smaller foes down low. Many consider Malone the greatest offensive rebounder the league has ever seen, as his timing and instincts to chase boards on offense were second to none.
Rockets seasons: 1976-77 through 1981-82
No. 25: Charles Barkley
AP Photo/Eric Drotter
Top accolades: One MVP, 11 All-NBA selections, 11 All-Stars
NBA rank: 19th in rebounds, 27th in scoring and steals, 104th in assists, 126th in blocks
Share of the vote: 67.50 percent of the maximum amount possible
The Round Mound of Rebound, Charles Barkley was extremely unique not just for his outspoken personality but for his dominance down low despite being generously listed at 6-foot-6. He was a beast on the glass and as a scorer thanks to his absurd strength and explosiveness in his prime. Barkley never got the ever-elusive ring, but he’s still one of the all-time greats at power forward.
Rockets seasons: 1996-97 through 1999-2000
No. 27: Scottie Pippen
Photo by VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images
Top accolades: Six NBA titles, seven All-NBA selections, seven All-Stars, eight All-Defensive Teams
NBA rank: 7th in steals, 35th in assists, 64th in scoring, 90th in rebounds, 110th in blocks
Share of the vote: 65.0 percent of the maximum amount possible
Arguably the greatest Robin in league history, Scottie Pippen was a fierce defender with freakish physical attributes, including long arms and extremely quick feet, who would absolutely stifle opposing stars. Pippen was at his best as a slasher and transition scorer but could also create for teammates at a high level, making him a point forward ahead of his time.
Rockets season: 1998-99
No. 28: Chris Paul
Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Top accolades: 11 All-NBA selections, 12 All-Stars, seven All-Defensive 1st Team selections
NBA rank: 3rd in assists, 4th in steals, 39th in scoring
Share of the vote: 63.95 percent of the maximum amount possible
The Point God, Chris Paul is one of the steadiest floor generals in NBA history, capable of acting as a head coach on the floor, getting teammates into the right spots, destroying opponents out of the pick-and-roll and scoring at a high level when needed thanks to his unreal touch as an off-the-dribble scorer in the midrange. Only thing still missing from his legacy is a ring, but he’s a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer with or without one.
Rockets seasons: 2017-18 through 2018-19
No. 36: Rick Barry
Photo by Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.
Top accolades: One NBA title, one Finals MVP, five All-NBA 1st Team selections, eight All-Stars
NBA rank: 72nd in scoring, 118th in assists, 130th in steals
Share of the vote: 56.04 percent of the maximum amount possible
An excellent scorer on the wing, Rick Barry may be best remembered these days for his granny-style free-throw shooting, but he was so much more than that, as he could handle the ball at 6-foot-7, shoot off the dribble or around the rim and do a bit of everything else well, including rebound and create for others.
Rockets seasons: 1978-79 through 1979-80
No. 39: James Harden
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports
Top accolades: One MVP, six All-NBA 1st Team selections, 10 All-Stars, one Sixth Man of the Year award
NBA rank: 28th in scoring, 31st in assists, 54th in steals. 240th in rebounds
Share of the vote: 54.37 percent of the maximum amount possible
James Harden already has a Hall-of-Fame resume thanks to his unreal scoring ability and playmaking. His crossover and stepback jumper have made him impossible to slow down when he gets going, as does his strong shoulder on drives to the rim. He has a chance to add to his legacy in a major way over the coming years. However, he’s starting to run out of time to accomplish that as Harden, now 33, is starting to make it an impossible-to-ignore habit to fall short in the playoffs. 2022-23 will be a great chance for him to change that, though, as the 76ers are stacked and Harden will have the opportunity to lead the team on a deep playoff run.
Rockets seasons: 2012-13 through 2020-21
No. 40: Elvin Hayes
Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images
Top accolades: One NBA title, six All-NBA selections, 12 All-Stars, two All-Defensive 2nd Team selections
NBA rank: 4th in rebounds, 11th in scoring, 24th in blocks
Share of the vote: 54.37 percent of the maximum amount possible
An old-fashioned big man who was really strong and aggressive, especially on defense. Elvin Hayes also had a masterful post game with a trademark turnaround jumper that he’d go to when he was defended by taller players. Hayes was called the Bionic Man because he was relentless, rarely missing a game until he was 38.
Rockets seasons: 1968-69 through 1971-72; 1981-82 through 1983-84
No. 44: Clyde Drexler
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Top accolades: One NBA title, five All-NBA selections, 10 All-Stars
NBA rank: 8th in steals, 34th in scoring, 36th in assists, 131st in rebounds, 172nd in blocks
Share of the vote: 46.87 percent of the maximum amount possible
One of the best 2-guards ever, Clyde Drexler was a fantastic scorer, rebounder and playmaker for his position, while also using his athleticism well defensively.
Rockets seasons: 1994-95 through 1997-98
No. 47: Russell Westbrook
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images
Top accolades: One MVP, nine All-NBA selections, nine All-Stars
NBA rank: 11th in assists, 25th in steals, 30th in scoring, 87th in rebounds
Share of the vote: 39.79 percent of the maximum amount possible
One of the most energetic players the NBA has ever seen, Russell Westbrook is absolutely tenacious every minute he’s on the floor, often fighting off bigger opponents for rebounds and flying down the floor in transition to throw down monstrous dunks. Of course, as is the case with basically every player, age is starting to affect the former triple-double machine, and that athleticism and energy level are starting to dwindle as Westbrook’s effectiveness pales in comparison to what they used to be.
Rockets season: 2019-20
No. 49: Carmelo Anthony
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images
Top accolades: Six All-NBA selections, 10 All-Stars
NBA rank: 9th in scoring, 75th in rebounds, 88th in steals, 175th in assists, 197th in blocks
Share of the vote: 36.45 percent of the maximum amount possible
One of the smoothest scorers in the wing the league has ever seen, Carmelo Anthony has become renowned for his jab step in the mid-range, but he had many more moves than that. Melo also liked to bully smaller defenders and hit them with turnaround fadeaways.
Rockets season: 2018-19
No. 62: Dwight Howard
Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Top accolades: One NBA title, five All-NBA 1st Team selections, eight All-Stars, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, four All-Defensive 1st Team selections
NBA rank: 10th in rebounds, 13th in blocks, 55th in scoring, 141st in steals
Share of the vote: 22.08 percent of the maximum amount possible
At one time, Dwight Howard was the best big man in the NBA, an era that lasted for multiple seasons during his time with the Magic. Howard was an awe-inspiring athlete for his size, who would often sky for rebounds, to block shots or to finish alley-oops. Now in the late stages of his career, Howard is already Top 10 in rebounds and could soon crack Top 10 in blocks too.
Like Gasol, Howard was another glaring omission from the NBA75 list despite being a Top 10 rebounder ever, ranking 13th all-time in blocks and having three Defensive Player of the Year awards. But that might have to do with him not being that well-liked by coaches and teammates during his time in the league.
Rockets seasons: 2013-14 through 2015-16
No. 75: Tracy McGrady
AP Photo/John Froschauer
Top accolades: Seven All-NBA selections, seven All-Stars, one Most Improved Player award
NBA rank: 73rd in scoring, 111th in assists, 148th in blocks, 243rd in rebounds
Share of the vote: 9.79 percent of the maximum amount possible
A more impressive playoff career (he never made it out of the first round in his prime) could have greatly changed where Tracy McGrady finished in this ranking, as could have more longevity. But at his peak, McGrady was one of the most explosive and productive do-everything wings in basketball, one who would have dominated in the modern NBA.
Rockets seasons: 2004-05 through 2009-10
Rest of Top 76 list
Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire