The Houston Rockets came into existence as the San Diego Rockets in 1967 because of a number of reasons. First, the NBA wanted to increase its presence in the Western United States, thus making San Diego a suitable choice. Second, the NBA noticed San Diego’s strong economic prospects, which made it a market packed with potential. Third, the NBA offered the expansion to Robert Breitbard, a man who had already proven that he was capable of running a successful sports team with his hockey team called the San Diego Gulls. As for the new basketball team’s name, it was a contest that produced the winning suggestion of the “Rockets,” which was inspired by San Diego’s theme of being a “city in motion” as well as the ICBM that was being produced by General Dynamics’s local presence.
Unfortunately, the San Diego Rockets managed nothing but low attendance and low performance. Due to this, Brietbard made the choice to sell the basketball team to Texas Sports Instruments for $5.6 million, which resulted in it being moved to Houston. There, the Houston Rockets have remained ever since with its name having become much more relevant than ever before.
How Has the Houston Rockets Logo Changed Over Time?
In total, the San Diego Rockets existed from 1968 to 1971. As a result, it had a single logo that continued to see use until it was relocated to Houston. In short, the logo consisted of a blue rocket that looked as though it was shooting forward while an orange basketball served as the background. Moreover, this combination was situated in the center of a green circle that bore “San Diego” and “Rockets” in gold lettering.
When the San Diego Rockets became the Houston Rockets, the basketball team received a new logo. It consisted of a basketball player in a red and gold uniform with a roaring rocket strapped to his back. The “Houston Rockets” forms part of what is coming out of the rocket’s back end, while the player’s left hand is holding a basketball with hoops around it to suggest the semblance of spinning. With that said, while this logo was distinctive, it doesn’t seem to have been very popular because it saw use for just a single year in 1972.
By 1973, the Houston Rockets were using a much simpler logo that consisted of an orange basketball with a thick, red outline. “Rockets” rendered in black can be seen on the orange basketball, while “Houston” rendered in white can be seen on the top stroke of the red outline. This is the logo that continued seeing use until 1996, which was when the basketball team switched to something new.
In 1996, the Houston Rockets made an important choice to switch over to a new color scheme. Previously, the basketball team’s logos had been dominated by combinations of red and gold. Now, its logo made extensive use of red, white, and blue. In short, the new logo bore “Rockets” in very bold, stand-out lettering as its single most prominent part, while a basketball with motion lines to suggest rotation of some kind served as its background. However, there was one very noticeable addition to the new logo, which was that it now had a shooting rocket featured in the background. Said rocket remains very memorable even in the present time for the simple reason that it bore a very cartoonish face painted on it, which came complete with furrowed brows, an open mouth full of shark-like teeth for ripping, and a red-painted tip that looked a great deal like a very sharp and very pointed nose. Said logo proved to be popular enough to last until the mid 2000s.
By 2004, the Houston Rockets had switched over to the logo that still sees use in the present time. It is interesting to note that this logo is perhaps the simplest one that the basketball team has ever used, but it manages to stand out because of its cleverness. Simply put, its single most stand-out component is the stylized “R” and “H” in the center that look as though they are a space rocket in the process of taking flight, while being flanked on both sides by “Houston” and “Rockets” in simple red lettering.