Houston sports activities took a giant ‘L’ when these athletes left
HOUSTON – Houston has had a difficult few months for professional sports fans with a handful of players leaving town. With JJ Watt now splitting up with the Texans, it just gets added to the list. Houston had already lost James Harden, Deandre Hopkins and George Springer last year.
While last year may have been particularly difficult with the departures, there have certainly been other top stars who have left Houston before that.
Here’s a look at some of the top players who broke our hearts by saying H-Town for so long. If there are some that are not on our list that you REALLY miss, let us know in the comments below this story!
George Springer – 2021
The Astros star has been in Houston since the team drafted him with their first round selection in 2011. Springer joined Astros in 2014 and finally reached the independent agency in 2021.
Springer received a 6-year deal for $ 150 million from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Astros weren’t competitive when it came to keeping their Star Center fielder.
Gerrit Cole – 2019
Houston made a mind-boggling deal with the Pirates for the former number one, and Cole has lived up to expectations in two great seasons for the Astros. In 2019, Cole was Cy Young’s runner-up with teammate Justin Verlander, leading Houston to the seventh game of the World Series. Cole left for New York, and the Yankees signed a seven-year deal with Cole for $ 324 million.
Dallas Keuchel – 2019
Keuchel played for Houston between 2012 and 2008, winning a World Series and a Cy Young for the Astros. Eventually, the left was crushed by MLB’s dislike of seasoned freelance agents and waited until the 2019 season to sign with the Atlanta Braves. Keuchel only cast one season in Atlanta and eventually got his big deal with the Chicago White Sox, where he signed a three-year deal for $ 55.5 million.
Lance Berkman – 2010
The Big Puma mashed for Houston for more than a decade, but the 2010 Astros started 8-0 and never bounced back. This was also the final year of Berkman’s $ 85 million six-year deal. The Astros traded Berkman for Jimmy Paredes and Mark Melancon for the Yankees. Berkman won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals the next season.
Roger Clemens – 2007
The Texas high school and college star played three seasons in his hometown and penned the Astros in 2005. Clemens kicked off his final season with the New York Yankees in 2007 after appearing dramatically in owner George Steinbrenner’s box that season.
JJ Watt – 2021
There is no doubt that JJ Watt is the most popular player in Texan history and will be hard to top. Watt is forever a Houston legend as he is the face of the franchise, has won three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and has made countless contributions to the Houston community, including more than $ 40 million that he made collected for reconstruction after Hurricane Harvey. But now he’s gone too.
Deandre Hopkins – 2020
In one of the most one-sided trades in NFL history, all-pro receiver Deandre Hopkins left Houston to run down David Johnson and one selection for the second round and one future selection for the fourth round. The Texans were widely targeted by Houston fans and national media, and despite Deshaun Watson’s career year, went 4-12 without Hopkins in 2020. Hopkins, meanwhile, did what he did, taking 115 passes for 1,407 yards and 6 in 2020 Touchdowns. A mixture of clashing personalities between the now-fired Bill O’Brien and Hopkins, along with a desire for an expansion that the team didn’t want to pay, led to the trade.
James Harden – 2021
Harden spent eight years becoming a legend in Houston and undid it in several months. Harden requested a deal, checked in late at training camp, and eventually blew up his team in a presser on the way out. Houston gave him his demand and traded Harden for a bevy of picks and some players for the Brooklyn Nets. Harden won an MVP award in Houston, but could never lead the Rockets to the NBA finals.
Tracy McGrady – 2010
McGrady went on to become a superstar in six seasons in Houston but had sustained injuries in his final seasons. The Rockets traded McGrady for the New York Knicks in 2010. McGrady eventually jumped to Atlanta and San Antonio and retired from the NBA after the 2013 season.
Hakeem Olajuwon – 2001
The greatest player in Rockets history brought two championships to Houston in a legendary career. That career didn’t end in Houston when Olajuwon turned down $ 13 million from the Rockets and was sold to the Toronto Raptors. Olajuwon had a back injury and played his final season in purple. This created one of the strangest basketball memories.
Robert Horry – 1996
Before he was “Big Shot Bob”, Horry helped the Rockets win two championships. The Rockets traded Horry for ex-League MVP Charles Barkley. Horry ended up with five more rings, three with the Lakers, two with the Spurs.
Ralph Sampson – 1987
Sampson, half of Houston’s twin towers with Olajuwon, played three dominant seasons in Houston before persistent injuries began to diminish his effectiveness in his final two seasons in Bayou City. In the middle of the 1987 season, the Rockets traded Sampson and Steve Harris for Sleepy Floyd and Joe Barry Carroll.
Moses Malone – 1982
Moses Malone, two-time NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets, left the company in 1982 as a restricted free agent. During a team sale, Houston decided to disagree with Philadelphia’s bid sheet for Malone. Malone teamed up with Julius Erving and he and “Dr. J ”won the NBA title in 1983, Malone won the league MVP for the third time. Shortly thereafter, Houston designed Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon, restoring the team’s historic strength as a great man.
Kealia Ohai – 2020
Ohai (now Kealia Watt) came to Houston in 2014 and traveled to Chicago after a career where she was named team captain, had an impressive batting average, and was inducted into the NWSL Best XI. Houston traded Ohai for Katie Naughton and a 2020 draft pick to Chicago.
Carli Lloyd – 2017
The USWNT superstar played in Houston between 2015 and 2017, scoring 11 goals in 28 games. Lloyd was on the Dash during the 2015 USWNT World Cup run, where Lloyd won the Golden Shoe. Lloyd eventually played in England before moving to New Jersey to play for the NWSL’s Sky Blue FC.
Brad Davis – 2016
Between 2006 and 2015, Davis was one of the best attacking players in the MLS and in 2011 led the league of assists. Davis led the Dynamo to consecutive MLS Cup victories in 2006 and 2007. Houston traded the aging winger for Kansas City prior to the 2016 season, and Davis retired after that season.
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