Chris Paul (17-19 season)
Paul is one of the best point guards in the league. He’s well-rounded, not only a consistent shooter and great defender, but also a top-notch leader and passer, and he’s the kind of big heart that can be counted on in crunch time. His addition in the summer of ’17 directly elevated the Rockets from a powerhouse team to a title contender. The Rockets were able to achieve the best regular season record in franchise history and make it all the way to the Western Conference Finals thanks to the command and positional offense Paul brought to the table.
Although the big contract signed in the summer of ’18 was ridiculed by fans as being reduced to a “poison contract” and his performance in the ’19 playoffs was not outstanding, it is still important to say that Paul’s arrival has made it possible for the Rockets to reach the top since 1995 and compete for the title is no longer just a slogan.
Steve Francis (99-04, 07-08 seasons)
Even after several years have passed, Francis will still be sealed with our memories of Houston and the Red Rockets and will not be forgotten.
The boss will belong to the charm of the No. 3 jersey to the extreme, just in his rookie season, Francis has become the league’s super star with powerful physical quality and very ornamental street ball play. In his first season, he averaged 18 points, 6.6 assists, and 1.5 assisted steals per game, and deservedly shared the best rookie of the year with Brand. It was also during this period that Francis became the third player after Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson to have 15+5+5 in each of the first three seasons of his career.
After that, Yao Ming’s arrival made Francis’ popularity further penetrated, and he left an impression of bloodiness and righteousness to all fans. Although Francis left Houston as the main bargaining chip in the trade between Magic and Rockets, when Francis chose to return to Rockets in 2007 and even sat on the bench without any regret, he had clearly become a real Houstonian and the Rockets’ No.3 jersey would be forever engraved with Francis’ brand.