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Elvin Hayes ‘in shock’ as Rockets retire jersey

The Rockets’ first star in the early ’70s, Elvin Hayes is often overlooked when listing the best interiors in history. However, he was a double-double machine, and his track record is worth seeing: NBA champion, 12-time All-Star, leading NBA scorer, double best rebounder, 6 All-NBA Teams selections… All for 21 points and 12.5 career average rebounds.

Champion with the Bullets, his jersey is retired in the Wizards room, and he will soon be in Houston. That’s what the Houston Chronicle reveals, and it ultimately makes sense. Drafted in 1968 when the franchise celebrated its first candle in San Diego, Hayes is a legend in the city. Like Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, he rose to prominence at the University of Houston, and the Chronicle reports he was one of owner Tilman Fertitta’s favorite players.

“When you think of basketball in Houston and someone who made their mark there, and of course Hakeem (Olajuwon) came later – he was the first,” said Fertitta. “One of the reasons the San Diego Rockets came to Houston and had the success they had early on was because Elvin Hayes was the star player. He was so good as a rookie and that was already the case at the University of Houston. I started out as a University of Houston fan. You had Guy Lewis and Bill Yeoman and those iconic teams when I was younger. It was special. And now, all these years later, to take off your shirt, it’s special and I’m really excited. »

The withdrawal of the jersey is scheduled for November 18, the day after Hayes’ birthday, who will celebrate his 77th birthday. That night, the Rockets will face the Pacers, and we can bet that Jalen Green and his teammates will be wearing their “Classic Edition” kit in the colors of the San Diego Rockets.

“I am really very happy”, Hayes reacted. “I really, really had no idea. I went to matches. I really enjoy going to games and meeting the Rockets and the players, working with the organization. It was truly an honor when they called me. I was really in shock. I finished my career here and this is my home. When the Rockets moved from San Diego, I was very excited to come back and play here. »

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