The Houston Rockets gave their minor-league fans an up-close look at the big leagues on Sunday night.
For the fifth straight year, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers — Houston’s NBA Development League affiliate — hosted “Rocket Launch,” a preseason showcase in Hidalgo, Texas that was topped off with a game against the Orlando Magic.
The Rockets are already as close with their NBA D-League affiliate as any NBA franchise. Starting big men Clint Capela and Terrence Jones each spent much of their rookie seasons in the RGV, while guard Patrick Beverley and center Donatas Motiejunas are also Vipers alums.
Sunday’s game also included a ceremony retiring the jersey of veteran guard C.J. Watson, who starred for the Vipers in 2007-08 before becoming the franchise’s first Call-Up and launching a now eight-year NBA career.
Came along way from those @nbadleague days. Enjoyed every minute of it wouldn't trade it in for the world. Thank you @rgvvipers For retiring my jersey tonight. #EnjoyTheGrind #WhereItAllStarted #NeverGiveUpOnYourDreams
More from Hidalgo:
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 10, 2015
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 12, 2015
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