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Monday August 31, 2009 4:35 PM

The Best of the Best

Contemplating the greatest moments in Houston Rockets' history

Jason Friedman
Rockets.com Staff Writer

Houston - Last week Rockets.com teamed up with fans to take a look back at some of the best moments, games and plays from the ’08-’09 season. And while that stroll down memory lane proved to be highly enjoyable, it was nothing compared to the spirited discussions which ensued in relation to the much bigger picture.

Because, let’s face it, it’s one thing to come up with a top-10 list from last season, but something altogether different to compile a similar lineup counting down the all-time best moments in franchise history – THAT, my friends, is a project worth undertaking, if for no other reason than basking in the opportunity to toss that topic into the conversational fire before sitting back and watching the sparks fly.

You see, my list is different than that of many of my friends’ and co-workers’, which is exactly how it should be. The plays and moments I cherish the most not only affect me on a very personal level, but are also made all the more more magical simply because of the time of my life they just so happen to represent. When Ralph Sampson miraculously made that shot against the Lakers in ’86, I was still young and naïve enough to believe that my favorite sports teams were capable of conjuring such singular moments on a regular basis – almost as if it were my birthright as a fan to be routinely appeased and entertained. And though a lifetime spent cheering on Houston sports teams has long since cured me of that belief, I still find comfort in the connection that shot maintains with my long-lost innocence; just as I continue to get goosebumps while watching clips from the Rockets’ back-to-back titles (which, interestingly enough, rescued me from the notion that I would never see a hometown team claim a championship – ah, the bi-polar passions of youth).

So all of this reminiscing got me to thinking: It’s time to mobilize the Rockets’ fan base and come up with a definitive list of the greatest moments in franchise history. And since my bosses won’t allow me unbridled authority over the final tally – and trust me, I did everything short of volunteering for another VonHawk to attain it - Rockets.com is recruiting you to help out once again.

Throughout the month of September we’re going to be accepting nominations for the most memorable moments in team history. That’s right – Sampson’s shot, Olajuwon’s block, T-Mac’s 13 in 35 – we want them all. Just send in your nominations however you wish – Facebook, Twitter, the Rockets Wiki or good old fashioned email – and we’ll take care of the rest.

Then, prior to the Rockets’ November 17 game against Phoenix, fans will receive a free calendar courtesy of Direct Energy, featuring photos from the 12 best moments in franchise history. So take a ride in the WAYBAC Machine and start sending us your personal favorites. This is sure to be a red-hot collector’s item, so make sure it’s filled with nothing but the best – even if the end result happens to differ ever so slightly from mine.

Got a question for Rockets.com? Send it to Jason Friedman. And for up to the second news and injury updates follow the Rockets and Jason on Twitter.