The Houston Rockets’ all-time leading rebounders include three of the top 11 rebounders in NBA history. Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, and Elvin Hayes combined for more than 47,000 total rebounds in the pros with 37 All-Star selections between them.
5. Otis Thorpe: 5,010 rebounds
One-time All-Star forward Otis Thorpe ranks fifth on the Houston Rockets’ all-time leading rebounders list. Thorpe’s 17-year career spanned three decades and included 17,600 points and 10,370 rebounds, the latter of which places him 32nd in NBA history. He enjoyed five double-double seasons including one year of better than 20 points and ten rebounds per game. In seven seasons with the Rockets from 1988 to 1995, he averaged 15.8 points and 9.7 boards with an NBA Championship in 1994.
4. Rudy Tomjanovich: 6,198 rebounds
Five-time All-Star forward and two-time championship coach Rudy Tomjanovich sits fourth among the Houston Rockets’ all-time leading rebounders. Tomjanovich spent his entire playing career with the Rockets from 1970 to 1981 with lifetime averages of 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He twice notched better than ten boards per game including a career-high 11.8 in 1971-72. Rudy T later coached the Rockets for 12 years including their 1994 and 1995 title seasons.
3. Moses Malone: 6,959 rebounds
Hall of Fame big man Moses Malone is the third leading rebounder in Houston Rockets’ history. Few players enjoyed careers as long as Malone’s; the 13-time All-Star played 21 seasons in the ABA and NBA for a total of 1,455 games, the fifth most in basketball history. Malone spent six seasons in Houston and averaged 24.0 points and 15.0 boards with the franchise. He won three NBA MVP Awards with two coming as a Rocket. Malone’s career total of 17,834 rebounds are third only behind Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain in NBA/ABA history.
2. Elvin Hayes: 6,974 rebounds
Elvin Hayes began and finished his Hall of Fame career with the Rockets and he ranks second on the list of Houston Rockets’ all-time leading rebounders. Hayes gave the San Diego and Houston Rockets the best statistical seasons of his career from 1968 to 1972. He led the NBA in scoring as a rookie with 28.4 points per game and he followed that by leading the league with 16.9 rebounds in his sophomore campaign. Hayes averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 boards in a Rockets’ uniform. In his brilliant 16-year career as a whole, he totaled 27,313 points and 16,279 rebounds, both of which rank in the top seven in NBA history.
1. Hakeem Olajuwon: 13,382 rebounds
The Houston Rockets’ all-time leading rebounder is legendary Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. One of the greatest offensive and defensive centers to ever play, Olajuwon gave Houston 17 remarkable seasons with averages of 22.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game. He won two NBA MVP Awards and was named Defensive Player of the Year twice. Olajuwon led the league in rebounding twice and he finished just 21 rebounds short of ranking in the NBA’s top ten in both points and rebounds. He is the NBA’s all-time leading shot-blocker with 3,830 blocks.
Houston Rockets Player Register. Basketball-Reference.com