Houston Rockets Historical Oddities

This page was inspired by Jonathan Feigen’s November 2013 revelation of former Houston Rockets center Kelvin Cato’s role in the Dwight Howard recruitment process.  Some of the quotes from that story, from both Howard and Cato himself, read as if from The Onion – just pure gold.

First, Cato:

The fact that the above was the best highlight I could find should tell you all you need to know.  He wasn’t very good at basketball and as I recall, seemingly had extreme difficulty moving his neck.  (Seriously, one of the first observations I made of Cato at the time was that he almost appeared as if unable to turn his head and could only look in a certain direction if shifting his entire body.)  He also wrote children’s books and drove a purple navigator.

In any event, the conversation when Cato attempted to sell Howard on Houston allegedly took place over lunch at Pappadeaux, allegedly over gumbo and etouffee.  Said Cato, the man who once famously inked a $48 million deal after one strong preseason showing (only to never have another relevant moment again): “Man, Houston takes care of their big men.”  Seriously.

Howard stated that he didn’t even know who was on Houston’s roster.

Howard, speaking at present for the piece, reflecting back on that fortuitous lunch: “There was one time in life Kelvin Cato was right.”  You can’t make this stuff up.

Cato has since shifted his basketball prowess to the entrepreneurial world and now owns an agricultural recycling company.

This page is in honor of Kelvin Cato who, as ESG & Slim Thug put it, stole our money.  He has now repaid us in a far greater way.  God bless you, Kelvin Cato.  God bless you.

2.  Carlos Delfino dunks on Kevin Durant.

So if you’re reading this and it’s like 2026, meaning Red94 somehow survived that long, some background info: Carlos Delfino was a marginal to average-at-best journeyman NBA player who made indispensable contributions to the Houston Rockets’ 2013 playoff run in what was a career year.  Kevin Durant was the undisputed second best player in basketball and probably would have been the best in any other non-Jordan/Lebron era season.  This happened:


I think the best part of this exchange, aside from the fact that it actually happened, was Delfino’s reaction, captured by The Internet:

Carlos Delfino face

Witnessing this historic moment from my seat on press row, my own reaction at the time can only be summed up by this GIF:


One of my colleagues in the blogosphere—I can’t remember who or damnit I’d just embed the tweet itself—put it perfectly moments afterward by saying something like, “Carlos Delfino dunking on Kevin Durant is like going to some foreign universe and discovering they have pictures of dogs on their money.”  I don’t even know what that means but yeah, that pretty much captures the essence of that moment.

At the time of writing, I have no idea what will become of Carlos Delfino’s career.  I think he’s nursing a groin injury right now or something.  But in any event, a toast for making it to #2 on this list.

This will be a running list.  If any item comes to mind which you think should belong on this list, please send me a note at [email protected].