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In 1967, San Diego became the 12th member of the NBA. Basketball fans there were asked to choose a nickname for the team. Rockets was picked because it reflected the outstanding growth of space-age industries in San Diego.

Even though the team relocated to Houston in 1971, the nickname still fits because of the NASA space program’s operation center there.

THE NICKNAMES
Behind The Name
Bobcats
Bucks
Bulls
Cavaliers
Celtics
Clippers
Grizzlies
Hawks
Heat
Hornets
Jazz
Kings
Knicks
Lakers
Magic
Mavericks
Nets
Nuggets
Pacers
Pistons
Raptors
Rockets
Sixers
Sonics
Spurs
Suns
Timberwolves
Trail Blazers
Warriors
Wizards