How the mighty had fallen….and rose again. The Rockets were defending champions, but struggled to win 47 games even after a midseason trade for Clyde Drexler. But even as a 6th seed in that year’s playoffs, Houston remained a force to be reckoned with.
After some early difficulties, Houston dismantled both the Rockets and Jazz, becoming the first team to overcome 2-0 and 3-1 series deficits en route to the Conference Finals. Waiting for them were MVP David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs, who Hakeem Olajuwon took an almost sinister pleasure in picking apart with one classic performance after another. Finally, The Finals, a sweep of an up and coming Orlando Magic squad that never knew what hit them. In the end, there was a lesson for us all, courtesy of Rudy Tomjanovich. “Never understimate the heart of a champion.”