NBA TV Spotlights 20th Anniversary of Houston Rockets Back-To-Back Championships with Clutch City Documentary

Editor’s note: Click here for video clip from NBA TV’s Clutch City documentary:

NBA TV will commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Houston Rockets’ back-to-back championship seasons with Clutch City, a documentary to be televised during The Finals on Monday, June 8, at 9 p.m. ET.  Produced by the Sports Emmy Award-winning NBA TV Originals, Clutch City examines the Rockets’ 1993-94 and 1994-95 teams as Houston greats such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Sam Cassell and Vernon Maxwell reflect on their experiences and how their unusual team chemistry helped them succeed.

Featuring more than 30 interviews with Hall of Famers, NBA legends and national broadcasters, Clutch City assesses the Rockets’ place in the NBA pantheon of great teams. In addition to Houston greats, the film offers insights on the Rockets from the men who challenged them, including NBA Legends Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, Horace Grant and A.C. Green.

Clutch City will provide an all-access look at the Houston Rockets' back-to-back championships, combining the best of the league’s archival footage with current interviews from those most closely connected to the team,” said “Scooter” Vertino, general manager of NBA Digital and SVP of programming, Turner Sports.  “There couldn’t be a more fitting time than The Finals to celebrate what it takes to be an NBA champion and the unique path these often overlooked Rockets teams took to get there.”

Inspired by Head Coach Rudy Tomjanovich and his motto, “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion,” the Rockets, often overlooked after being bookended by the Chicago Bulls’ two ‘‘three-peats,” survived eight postseason elimination games during these championship years.  From overtaking the New York Knicks in a dramatic seven-game 1994 NBA Finals to punctuating a historic run as the only sixth-seed to win an NBA championship when it defeated the Orlando Magic in the 1995 NBA Finals, Houston was the definition of perseverance.

During the 90-minute film, Tomjanovich opens up about his life as he returns to his hometown of Hamtramck, Mich.  Bringing to the bench the difficult lessons learned during his early years, he instilled in his players the resilience that drove Houston to consecutive titles.

A few outtakes from the Clutch City documentary:

Rudy Tomjanovich on what it takes to become a champion:

“Being a champion just doesn't happen.  You've got to go through a war.  I don't know any team that doesn't  just like any family that doesn't have to go through some adversity, some difference of opinion, some hard feelings, some tears.  But the team that doesn't let that stuff bother them and they go through the storms, they tie things down when things get tough and they get through it, to me that's what a champion is.” 

Kenny Smith on what it takes to win an NBA championship

“Winning an NBA championship is like there's a brick wall and you're just tapping.  It's years and you're just tapping.  And it's dark in that room and you're just tapping.  There's no light and you're just tapping, tapping.  And you do it for years.  Then all of a sudden, you tap and light comes in.  You go, ‘Oh, shoot, there's light at the end of that tunnel.’  That's what winning an NBA championship feels like.” 

Hakeem Olajuwon on whether or not the Rockets would have beaten the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan in The Finals

“It’s something that you will never know, but if you just go by the record, we never had a problem with Chicago…We loved that because we wouldn’t just play against Chicago, we would dominate Chicago.”

Clutch City is the latest in a long line of NBA TV Originals' critically acclaimed films and specials that include the Sports Emmy Award-winning The Doctor; the Emmy-nominated The Dream Team; and THE84DRAFT; as well as the network’s popular Open Court series.

About NBA TV

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Media Contacts:

Tony Morreale, Turner Sports             404-575-7401    
Audrey Brees, Turner Sports               404-885-4098   
Mike Wade, NBA                                212-407-8690