Rockets’ Classic Edition uniforms are tribute to San Diego – Houston Chronicle

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The Rockets' Jalen Green shows off the team's new Nike Classic Edition uniforms that pay tribute to the franchise's origins in San Diego.

The Rockets’ Jalen Green shows off the team’s new Nike Classic Edition uniforms that pay tribute to the franchise’s origins in San Diego.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets are throwing it all the way back to before the team was even in Houston for their Nike Classic Edition uniforms. The Rockets alternate jerseys for the upcoming season are white with green and gold — gold lettering and numbers outlined in green, along with green and yellow stripes across the top of the shorts — as a tribute to the franchise’s origin as the San Diego Rockets.

The Rockets wore the green and gold for their first four seasons – in which they never finished above .500 despite having players like Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy, Rudy Tomjanovich and Pat Riley – before Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million and moved it to Houston. The new ownership kept the name since Rockets made even more sense in Houston than it did in Southern California, but changed the team’s colors.

The team unveiled the uniforms in a 98-second video narrated by Alief rapper Tobe Nwigwe, who not only has blown up nationally on the music scene, but is showing off his acting chops on Netflix’s new series “Mo,” created by Alief comedian Mo Amer.

“On the journey to greatness, it’s crucial to remember and appreciate where you started,” Nwigwe says in the video. “Acknowledging the groundwork laid by legends allows the next generation to thrive. There’s a common thread that we pull from to make our future promising. To paint the full picture of this rich Rockets history you’ll have to go back to the very beginning, and that thread wasn’t always red. In 1967, gold didn’t signify two championships and Green wasn’t just the last name of a star in the making. Those were the colors of a new NBA franchise surrounded by palm trees in sunny San Diego. Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy, Pat Riley and Rudy Tomjanovich would all don the green and white before the Rockets moved to Houston in 1971. They laid the foundation necessary for basketball greatness in the city of Houston. Space exploration teaches us to boldly move forward, a common thread between both cities. As we move forward to the next generation of Rockets basketball, we bring back a classic to reflect where we came from. History propels us forward.”

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) August 31, 2022

Teams throughout the league are paying tribute to their past with Nike’s Classic Edition uniforms. The Brooklyn Nets are bringing out those old New Jersey Nets’ Stars and Stripes classics that Julius Erving made look so sweet in the 1970s. The Spurs are going back to their George Gervin days.

The Rockets report to training camp in September and their first preseason game is Oct. 2 against the Spurs. They open the regular season on the road Oct. 19 at Atlanta.