The Houston Rockets got the power forward they wanted in Otis Thorpe in a trade that nearly completes the dismantling of the Rockets team that fought to the NBA championship round in 1986.
"It seems like only yesterday we were out there running up and down the court fighting for the championship," said Rockets forward Rodney McCray, traded with Jim Petersen to Sacramento for Thorpe.The Rockets battled to the NBA finals in 1986 led by twin towers Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, along with McCray and Petersen.
Now only Olajuwon and guard Allen Leavell remain from that team.
"It's sad to have been on top and been right there only to have it all come down on us," Petersen said. "We didn't turn out to be the dynasty we thought we would be."
Therefore, new Coach Don Chaney and the Rockets decided to start over and filled Chaney's plea for a power forward.
"I think we are nearing a championship contender but we're not talking about it immediately," Chaney said. "You don't win a championship overnight."
But Chaney thinks Thorpe, 6-11, 236, is a good start.
"When I arrived, I felt the team needed a shooting guard and a power forward," Chaney said. "Otis Thorpe fills the forward spot. He has the potential to become an All-Star."
Thorpe fits the "new" Rockets, Chaney said.
"I look forward to a guy like Otis Thorpe coming here because I'd love to see him and Akeem on each side of the lane," Chaney said.
"That gives us an awesome front court."