What name might suit a Houston-based team more than Rockets? Apparently, it is a match! Nevertheless, the Rockets originally were not from Houston.
For the vast majority of owners, the clubs they own are not just a successful (or vice versa) investment, but a business to which they devote a considerable amount of their time and energy. Yet, hardly any of the contemporary owners are comparable in their passion for sports with Robert Breitbard, supposed to be the godfather of professional sports in San Diego, California. Once a professional sportsman and coach, Robert Breitbard initiated the creation of the Breitbard Athletic Foundation to recognize significant athletic achievements among schoolchildren, students and professional sportsmen of San Diego. In 1966, Robert Breitbard participated in the construction of the San Diego Sports Arena, which a year later became the home for the San Diego Rockets.
The franchise was established in 1967 in San Diego, California. After the name-the-team contest the club was called “Rockets”, as an homage to enterprises of the military-industrial complex located in San Diego, for instance, General Dynamics Corporation engaged in developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. The “rocket” theme was present in the appealing, sunny logo of the team. However, despite that the color scheme of the San Diego Rockets logo included orange and blue, their jersey colors were green and yellow.
The new franchise lasted only three years in San Diego, since low performance, poor attendance and inattention of local fans and the media forced Robert Breitbard to sell the team to Texas Sports Investments for $ 5.6 million, who decided to move the club to Houston. Actually, after moving to Houston, the franchise did not change its name, because NASA’s leading science and space learning center is located in Houston. According to the club’s management and the fans themselves, the name “Houston Rockets” appeared to be perfect for a team based in Space City. Though the team name was not changed, green in club color palette was replaced by red. The new Houston Rockets logo unveiled in 1972 depicted a bit foolish cartoon-like basketball player with a jetpack that had nothing to do with either Houston or rockets. However, just a year later, the team removed every funny element from its identity: the Houston Rockets logo turned into a stamp, and the uniform had a more monotonous look.
Houston Rockets logo history
The Houston Rockets basketball team was founded more than 50 years ago in hot, sunny California. They managed to win the NBA finals twice, in 1994 and 1995. The main team colors are red, white, black, and silver. The team logo was modified more than once, including global changes in color, key elements, and graphics. However, in one way or another, the rocket has been present in every logo so far.
1967 – 1971
In 1967, San Diego, located in the very heart of California, became a hometown for a new NBA expansion team called “San Diego Rockets”. The Rockets original logo featured an orange basketball pierced with the blue rocket. The ball was framed with two green semicircles containing yellow-scripted “San Diego” and “Rockets” on the top and on the bottom respectively.
1971 – 1972
In 1972, the Rockets unveiled a new logo, since the team moved from sunny San Diego, California, to Houston, Texas. Of course, it was necessary to update the emblem Houston Rockets. The logo, designed from scratch, featured a cartoonish player with a rocket pack. He was wearing a red-and-yellow team uniform and spinning a yellow “NBA” basketball. The yellow jets of gas went into bright red “Houston Rockets” lettering.
1972 – 1995
The cartoonish basketball player did not last long, but the 1973 logo was exploited for 12 years. The main colors remained unchanged: bright red and yellow, though the logo was more minimalistic. The “mustard and ketchup” logo, so dubbed by fans, included a yellow basketball surrounded by two red trails, with “Houston” atop the first red trail and “Rockets” in black surrounding the basketball.
1995 – 2003
Once again, the Houston Rockets logo designers decided to change the concept completely. This time it was a multi-component logo with more pronounced “rocket” theme. It featured a dark brick-red basketball with curved black stripes and Saturn-like orbital ring. At the very center, there was a shortened version of the Rockets team name in silver gradient font with thin red and blue outline. The lettering looked extremely realistic. The word “Houston” was gone. Above the name, there was a flying cartoon-like blue rocket with eyes and mouth. It is worth mentioning, the logo was unveiled while aboard the Space Shuttle.
2003 – 2019
In 2004, the Rockets returned back to their traditional color scheme – white and red. Simple, yet eye-catching logo featured the bright red capital letter “R”, where the vertical bar looked like a rocket ship with hot gases going out of its tail. The second part of the “R” represented another rocket, this time making a curve. This logo could truly be called cosmic and space-inspired.
2019 – present
The latest Houston Rockets logo alterations took place in 2019. The logo commits to the space identity of the Houston Rockets. A basketball represents the spherical part of a gray-and-black planet with an orbital ring containing white-scripted “Houston Rockets” wordmark surrounding the basketball. In front of the planet features the red rocket-shaped “R”, which continues to be the team’s primary logo. The rather unusual mix of graphite gray, black and bright red will definitely bring success to the team.