Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station, it is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden". The Garden is used for professional basketball and ice hockey, as well as boxing, ice shows, professional wrestling and other forms of sports and entertainment, it is close to other midtown Manhattan landmarks, including the Empire State Building and Macy's at Herald Square. It is home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, was home to the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2017. Called Madison Square Garden Center, the Garden opened on February 11, 1968, is the oldest major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area, it is the oldest arena in the National Hockey League and the second-oldest arena in the National Basketball Association.
In 2016, MSG was the second-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, behind The O2 Arena in London. Including two major renovations, its total construction cost is $1.1 billion, it has been ranked as one of the 10 most expensive stadium venues built. It is part of the Pennsylvania Plaza office and retail complex, named for the railroad station. Several other operating entities related to the Garden share its name. Madison Square is formed by the intersection of 5th Broadway at 23rd Street in Manhattan, it was named after James Madison, fourth President of the United States. Two venues called Madison Square Garden were located just northeast of the square, the first from 1879 to 1890, the second from 1890 to 1925; the first Garden, leased to P. T. Barnum, had no roof and was inconvenient to use during inclement weather, so it was demolished after 11 years. Madison Square Garden II was designed by noted architect Stanford White; the new building was built by a syndicate which included J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, P. T. Barnum, Darius Mills, James Stillman and W. W. Astor.
White gave them a Beaux-Arts structure with a Moorish feel, including a minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville – soaring 32 stories – the city's second tallest building at the time – dominating Madison Square Park. It was 200 feet by 485 feet, the main hall, the largest in the world, measured 200 feet by 350 feet, with permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor space for thousands more, it had a 1,200-seat theatre, a concert hall with a capacity of 1,500, the largest restaurant in the city and a roof garden cabaret. The building cost $3 million. Madison Square Garden II was unsuccessful like the first Garden, the New York Life Insurance Company, which held the mortgage on it, decided to tear it down in 1925 to make way for a new headquarters building, which would become the landmark Cass Gilbert-designed New York Life Building. A third Madison Square Garden opened in a new location, on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, from 1925 to 1968.
Groundbreaking on the third Madison Square Garden took place on January 9, 1925. Designed by the noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, it was built at the cost of $4.75 million in 249 days by boxing promoter Tex Rickard. The arena was 200 feet by 375 feet, with seating on three levels, a maximum capacity of 18,496 spectators for boxing. Demolition commenced in 1968 after the opening of the current Garden, was completed in early 1969; the site is now the location of One Worldwide Plaza. In 1959, Graham-Paige purchased a controlling interest in the Madison Square Garden. In November 1960, Graham-Paige president Irving Mitchell Felt purchased from the Pennsylvania Railroad the rights to build at Penn Station. To build the new facility, the above-ground portions of the original Pennsylvania Station were torn down; the new structure was one of the first of its kind to be built above the platforms of an active railroad station. It was an engineering feat constructed by Robert E. McKee of Texas. Public outcry over the demolition of the Pennsylvania Station structure—an outstanding example of Beaux-Arts architecture—led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The venue opened on February 11, 1968. In 1972, Felt proposed moving the Knicks and Rangers to a incomplete venue in the New Jersey Meadowlands, the Meadowlands Sports Complex; the Garden was the home arena for the NY Raiders/NY Golden Blades of the World Hockey Association. The Meadowlands would host its own NBA and NHL teams, the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils, respectively; the New York Giants and Jets of the National Football League relocated there. In 1977, the arena was sold to Western Industries. Felt's efforts fueled controversy between the New York City over real estate taxes; the disagreement again flared in 1980. The arena, since the 1980s, has since enjoyed tax-free status, under the condition that all Knicks and Rangers home games must be hosted at MSG, lest it lose this exemption. Garden owners spent $200 million in 1991 to renovate facilities and add 89 suites in place of hundreds of upper-tier seats; the project was designed by Ellerbe Becket. In 2004–2005, Cablevision battled with the City of New York over the proposed West Side Stadium, cancelled.
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Walter Jackson Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for the Michigan State Spartans, he was selected 4th by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2018 NBA draft. Jackson started his high school career with Park Tudor School, he played varsity for three years, where he averaged 10 points a game, 6 rebounds a game, 3 blocks a game. Jackson won two IHSAA state basketball championships while at Park Tudor, he was teammates with former Xavier University standout and current New Orleans Pelicans two-way player Trevon Bluiett. He transferred to La Lumiere School for his senior year, where he started for their varsity squad. Jackson was considered one of the top players in the 2017 graduating class. Scout.com ranked Jackson the 5th best player nationally, 1st in his respective position, 2nd overall in the midwest region. 247 Sports ranked being 4th in his position. ESPN ranked him 8th in the ESPN 100, being 2nd in 2nd regionally.
Jackson was recruited by a number of notable programs, including Michigan State, Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue and several more. He was invited to partake in the McDonald's All-American Game played on March 29, 2017. On September 15, 2016, Jaren Jackson Jr. announced his intentions to sign a letter of intent to go to Michigan State. He signed the letter of intent on November 9, 2016. Jackson would make his collegiate debut on November 10, 2017, recording 13 points and a season-high 13 rebounds in a blowout 98–66 win over the North Florida Ospreys. Four days he would record a then-season-high 19 points in an 88–81 loss to the #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils. On December 5, Jackson would put up 11 points and a career-high 8 blocks in a 62–52 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Four days he would record 17 points and another career-high 13 rebounds in a blowout 88–63 win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. On January 22, 2018, Jackson recorded a then-season-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds and 6 blocks in an 87–74 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
On February 13, he would put up a career-high 27 points in a blowout 87–57 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. At the end of the regular season for Michigan State, he would be named both the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Big Ten's All-Freshman Team, the All-Big Ten's Third Team. On April 2, Jackson would declare his entry into the 2018 NBA draft, where he was considered a potential top-tier lottery selection. On June 21, 2018, Jackson was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2018 NBA draft. On July 1, 2018, he signed a multi-year, rookie scale contract with the Grizzlies. Jackson helped the United States of America's under-17 basketball team win the gold medal at the FIBA 2016 World Championships, he averaged 4.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocked shots, shot 53 percent from the field. He was a member of the USA Junior National Select Team that participated in the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon. Coming off the bench, Jackson tallied a game-high nine rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
He is the son of former NBA player Jaren Jackson. Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com Michigan State Spartans bio USA Basketball bio
Timothy Theodore Duncan is an American former professional basketball player. He spent his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Duncan started out as a swimmer, did not begin playing basketball until ninth grade, he played basketball for St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School. In college, Duncan played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, winning the Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA College Player of the Year, John Wooden awards in his senior year. After graduating from college, Duncan earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors after being selected by San Antonio with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Regarded as the greatest power forward of all time as well as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he is a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a 15-time NBA All-Star, the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for 13 consecutive seasons. Off the court, Duncan is known for his active philanthropy.
He holds a degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States. Tim Duncan is the son of Ione, a midwife, William Duncan, a mason, he has two older sisters and Tricia, one older brother, Scott, a film director and cinematographer. He was born and raised on Saint Croix, one of the main islands composing the U. S. Virgin Islands. In school, Duncan was a bright pupil and dreamt of becoming an Olympic-level swimmer like his sister Tricia, his parents were supportive and Duncan excelled at swimming, becoming a teenage standout in the 50, 100 and 400 meters freestyle and aiming to make the 1992 Olympic Games as a member of the United States Team. When Hurricane Hugo destroyed the island's only Olympic-sized swimming pool in 1989, Duncan was forced to swim in the ocean and he lost his enthusiasm for swimming because of his fear of sharks. Duncan was dealt another emotional blow when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and died one day before his 14th birthday.
In her last days, she made Duncan and his sisters promise to finish college with a degree, which would explain Duncan's refusal to leave college early. Duncan was inspired by his brother-in-law to turn to basketball. Duncan had difficulties adapting to the game he thought would help relieve his pain and frustration. Nancy Pomroy, the athletic director of the St. Croix Country Day School was quoted: " was so huge. So big and tall, but he was awfully awkward at the time." He overcame this to become a standout for the St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School, averaging 25 points per game as a senior, his play attracted the attention of several universities, despite having only picked up the game in ninth grade. Wake Forest University basketball coach Dave Odom in particular grew interested in Duncan after the 16-year-old played NBA star Alonzo Mourning to a draw in a 5-on-5 pick-up game. Odom was searching for a physical player to play near the basket. Given the weak level of basketball in the Virgin Islands, Odom was wary about Duncan at first after first meeting him and thinking him to be inattentive.
However, after the first talk, Odom understood that this was just Duncan's way of paying attention, discovered that he was not only athletically talented, but a quick learner. Despite scholarship offers by the University of Hartford, the University of Delaware and Providence College, Duncan joined Odom's Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In the year before Duncan's arrival at Wake Forest University, the Demon Deacons reached the Sweet 16, but lost main scorer Rodney Rogers, who entered the 1993 NBA draft. In the 1993–94 NCAA season, Coach Dave Odom was considering redshirting Duncan, but was forced to play him after fellow freshman big man Makhtar N'Diaye was ruled out due to NCAA rules violations and transferred to Michigan. Duncan struggled with early transition problems and was held scoreless in his first college game, but as the year progressed, he and teammate Randolph Childress led the Deacons to a 20–11 win-loss record. Duncan's style of play was simple but effective, combining an array of low-post moves, mid-range bank shots and tough defense.
He was chosen to represent the U. S. in the 1994 Goodwill Games. Meanwhile, Duncan worked towards a degree in psychology and took classes in anthropology and Chinese literature. Despite focusing on basketball, Wake Forest psychology department chairperson Deborah Best was quoted: "Tim was one of my more intellectual students. Other than his height, I couldn't tell him from any other student at Wake Forest." Duncan established his reputation as a stoic player, to the extent that opposing fans taunted him as "Mr. Spock", the prototypical logical, detached character from Star Trek. In the 1994–95 NCAA season, the sophomore was soon called one of the best eligible NBA prospects, along with his peers Joe Smith, Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West suggested that Duncan might become the top pick in the 1995 NBA draft if he went early, but Duncan assured everyone he had no intention of going pro until he graduated though the NBA was planning to add a rookie salary cap in 1996.
He was determined to stay in school. In that season, he led the Demon Deacons into the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against a Rasheed Wall
Sean Michael Elliott is an American former professional basketball player who starred at small forward in both the college and professional ranks. He attended the University of Arizona, where he had a standout career as a two-time All-American, winner of the 1989 John R. Wooden Award, the 1989 Adolph Rupp Trophy, the 1989 NABC Player of the Year, 1989 AP Player of the Year, two time Pac-12 Player of the Year, he was the third pick of the 1989 NBA draft, was named to the 1990 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, was a two-time NBA All-Star, earned an NBA championship in 1999. His # 32 is retired by both the San Antonio Spurs. Elliott was born in Arizona as the youngest of three boys, he attended the G. A. T. E. Program at Tolson Elementary School there played basketball at Cholla High School on the city's west side. After graduating in 1985, he remained in Tucson to play college basketball at the University of Arizona. Under the tutelage of Lute Olson, Elliott was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, he was selected as a consensus all-American during his junior and senior years, led the Wildcats to the Final Four in his junior year.
Elliott broke. After an exceptional senior season, Elliott won the Wooden Award, he is still the University of Arizona's all-time leading scorer. He played for the US national team in the 1986 FIBA World Championship. Elliott was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs as the third pick in the first round of the 1989 NBA draft under Coach Larry Brown; the 1989–1990 season was the first for Elliott's teammate David Robinson, who played as the team's superstar. Elliot started in 69 of 81 games for the season, averaging 10 points a game, the Spurs made the playoffs where they swept the Denver Nuggets in the first round before falling to the eventual Western Conference Champion Portland Trail Blazers in 7 games. Elliott increased his scoring average to 12.7 during the postseason. In the following season, Elliott started in all 82 games, increasing his scoring to 15.9 points a game, the Spurs led by Robinson won 55 games, but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors in four games.
Elliott once again increased his scoring output in the playoffs, the Spurs looked forward to improving. The 1991–1992 season was be a tumultuous one for the team, with Brown stepping down as coach after a 21–17 start, replaced by Bob Bass; the Spurs still managed to win 47 games with Elliott starting in all 82 games and averaging 16.3 points, but San Antonio were swept in the first round by the Phoenix Suns. Like in his first two years, Elliott increased his scoring in the playoffs to 19.7 points a game for the three game series. Coaching changes once again destabilized the Spurs' season, before John Lucas II took over the team, leading them to 55 wins on a 39–22 record after the team opened the season with a record of 10–11. Elliott played in 70 games, once again placed second in scoring on the team to Robinson with 17.2 points a game, including a career-high 41 points against the Dallas Mavericks on December 18, 1992. He was named to play in the 1993 NBA All-Star Game along with Robinson. In the playoffs, San Antonio defeated Portland 3 games to 1, before facing the number one seeded Suns in the conference semifinal.
After losing the first two games in Phoenix, the Spurs responded with consecutive games at home, as Elliott scored 17 points in game 3 and 19 points in game 4. The Suns, led by superstar Charles Barkley managed to wrap up the series in the next two games. Elliot averaged 15.8 points per game in the playoffs. Elliott spent the 1993–94 season with the Detroit Pistons after being traded for Dennis Rodman in a multi-player deal; the Pistons had been a championship-contending team, were still led by veterans such as Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, but struggled with injuries throughout the season. After Elliott struggled with the Pistons, the Pistons attempted to trade him to the defending champion Houston Rockets in February 1994 in exchange for Robert Horry, Matt Bullard, two second-round draft choices. After the trade was voided, Elliott held a press conference and announced that he had a kidney problem. Elliott remained in Detroit for the rest of the season and started in a total 73 games, averaging 12.1 points a game.
Following the end of the season, he was traded back to the Spurs for the draft rights of Bill Curley. In the 1994–1995 season, the Spurs—now coached by Bob Hill—won 62 games led by Elliott and Robinson, who won that year's NBA Most Valuable Player Award; the Spurs clinched the top seed in the western conference, swept the Denver Nuggets in the first round before facing the young Los Angeles Lakers in the semifinals. The Lakers pushed San Antonio to a 6th game in Los Angeles. Elliott scored his high for the playoffs, in the series-clinching game; the Spurs had reached the conference finals. Despite having home court advantage, the Spurs lost the first two games at home, won two games before falling to the more experienced Rockets in 6 games. Elliott averaged 17.3 points a game in the playoffs. The 1995–1996 season was a personal best for Elliott, as he averaged 20 points a game, a career high, in 77 games. Elliott made a career-high 161 three-pointers on the season, played in the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, scoring 13 points in 22 minutes.
The Spurs once again came up short in the playoffs, defeating Phoenix in the first round before losing to the Utah Jazz in 6 games, with Elliott's scoring averaging falling t
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger and are the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship; the franchise has won NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. As of May 2015, the Spurs had the highest winning percentage among active NBA franchises; as of April 2019, the Spurs have won 22 division titles since joining the NBA and have only missed the playoffs four times. From 1999–2000 to 2016–17, the Spurs won 50 games each season, setting a record of 18 consecutive 50-win seasons. In the 2018–19 season, the Spurs matched an NBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances with 22; the team's recent success coincides with the tenure of current head coach Gregg Popovich, who has coached the team since 1996.
The Spurs are the city's only team in any of the four major U. S. professional sports leagues and the only major-league team in the city's history to have lasted more than five years. Spurs players are active members of the San Antonio community, many former Spurs are still active in San Antonio including David Robinson with the Carver Academy and George Gervin with the George Gervin Youth Center; the Spurs set several NBA attendance records while playing at the Alamodome including the largest crowd for an NBA Finals game in 1999, the Spurs continue to sell out the smaller AT&T Center on a regular basis. Since 2003, the team has been forced on an extended road trip for much of February since the AT&T Center hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo; this is informally known as the "Rodeo Road Trip". The Spurs have posted winning road records during this period, including an NBA-record longest single road trip winning streak; when the Spurs have won the NBA title, the team's victory parades have been boat trips on the San Antonio River Walk.
The San Antonio Spurs started out as the Dallas Chaparrals of the original version of the American Basketball Association. Coached by player/coach Cliff Hagan the Dallas Chaparrals were one of 11 teams to take the floor in the inaugural season of the upstart ABA; the Chaps' second season was a bit of a disappointment, as the team finished in 4th place with a mediocre 41–37 record. In the playoffs the Chaparrals fell to the New Orleans Buccaneers; the team suffered from general disinterest in Dallas. In fact, during the 1970–71 season, the name "Dallas" was dropped in favor of "Texas" and an attempt was made to make the team a regional one, playing games in Fort Worth, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, as well as Lubbock, at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, but this proved a failure and the team returned full-time to Dallas in time for the 1971–72 season, splitting their games at Moody Coliseum and Dallas Convention Center Arena. While the Chaparrals had been modestly successful on the court, they were sinking financially by their third season because the ownership group refused to spend much money on the team.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in the 1972–73 season, nearly all of the owners wanted out. A group of 36 San Antonio businessmen, led by Manager/Angelo Drossos, Chairman of the Board/John Schaefer and President/Red McCombs, worked out a "lend-lease" deal with the Dallas ownership group. Drossos and his group would lease the team for three years and move it to San Antonio, agreed to return the team to Dallas if no purchase occurred by 1975. After the deal was signed, the team was renamed the San Antonio Gunslingers. However, before they played a game the name was changed to Spurs; the team's primary colors were changed from the red and blue of the Chaparrals to the now familiar black and white motif of the Spurs. In the first game at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs lost to the San Diego Conquistadors, despite attracting a noisy crowd of 6,000 fans. A smothering defense was the team's image, as they held opponents to less than 100 points for an ABA record of 49 times.
The early Spurs were led by ABA veteran James Silas, the team would get stronger as the season went on as they twice took advantage of the Virginia Squires, acquiring Swen Nater, who would go on to win Rookie of the Year, in November, "The Iceman" George Gervin in January. The ABA tried to halt the Gervin deal, claiming it was detrimental to the league, but a judge would rule in the Spurs' favor, Gervin made his Spurs debut on February 7; the Spurs would go on to finish with a 45 -- good for 3rd place in the Western Division. In the playoffs, the Spurs would battle the Indiana Pacers to the bitter end before falling in seven games. San Antonio embraced the Spurs with open arms. Schaefer, Drossos and McCombs knew a runaway hit. After only one year, they exercised their option to tear up the lease agreement, buy the franchise outright and keep the team in San Antonio for good; the team made themselves at home at HemisFair Arena, playing to large and raucous crowds. Despite a respectable 17–10 start during the 1974–75 season, Coach Tom Nissalke was fired as owners become tired of the Spurs' slow defensive style of games.
He would be replaced by Bob Bass, who stated that the Spurs would have an new playing style: "It is my belief that you cannot throw a set offense at another professional team for 48 minutes. You've got to
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won four Western Conference titles; the team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston; the Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season; the Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In the 1984 NBA draft, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics; the Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history; the Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Houston, seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals; each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, the Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding dismantling and retooling their roster; the acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards.
The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play. The Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US $1.75 million to join the NBA as an expansion team for the 1967–68 season. The NBA wanted to add more teams in the Western United States, chose San Diego based on the city's strong economic and population growth, along with the local success of an ice hockey team owned by Breitbard, the San Diego Gulls; the resulting contest to name the franchise chose the name "Rockets", which paid homage to San Diego's theme of "a city in motion" and the local arm of General Dynamics developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. Breitbard brought in Jack McMahon coach of the Cincinnati Royals, to serve as the Rockets' coach and general manager; the team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first draft pick was Pat Riley.
The Rockets lost 67 games in their inaugural season, an NBA record for losses in a season at the time. In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston. Hayes improved the Rockets' record to 37 wins and 45 losses, enough for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 1969, but the Rockets lost in the semi-finals of the Western Division to the Atlanta Hawks, four games to two. Despite the additions of Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich and the management of Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 67–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season; because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, in 1971, Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million, moved the team to Houston. The franchise became the first NBA team in Texas, the nickname "Rockets" took on greater relevance after the move, given Houston's long connection to the space industry.
Before the start of the 1971–72 season, Hannum left for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association – renamed Denver Nuggets, who joined the NBA in 1976 – and Tex Winter was hired in his place. However, Winter's clashes with Hayes, due to a system that contrasted with the offensive style