— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 16, 2017
Former Rocket Otis Thorpe was in the house on Wednesday night to be honored as part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary celebration. While I only got to enjoy half a year of Thorpe before he was dealt to Portland, in the post-Barkley years (or even during, some might argue), Thorpe’s legacy lived on in the minds of Rockets fans as the symbol of the prototypical power forward.
When the Rockets announced their All-90’s team in 2012, I thought it was a complete travesty that that team did not include Thorpe who, while traded before the second title run, was an anchor on the frontline next to Olajuwon through the early 90’s. When I talked to Robert Horry during press availability at the event, I made sure to make mention of the man with whom he shared the forward spot for 2.5 years.
While the sentiment is appreciated, the comparison above is quite a bit off. Aside from physique, there isn’t really much similarity between Thorpe and Blake Griffin. Still, while Thorpe’s breed today is extinct, its important to remember that he was the standard among non-stars at the position during his era.