Former Houston Rockets star Robert Reid dies at 68 after battle with cancer

Robert Reid, who lived in the Houston area after his retirement, died on Monday at his home

Robert Reid helped lead the Rockets to their first two NBA Finals appearances in franchise history.
Robert Reid, seen here in 1977, helped lead the Rockets to their first two NBA Finals appearances in franchise history. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Former Houston Rockets star Robert Reid, who helped lead the franchise to its first two NBA Finals runs, died on Monday, the team confirmed.

He was 68.

Reid, according to the Houston Chronicle, died at his home on Monday after a battle with cancer.

The Rockets first selected Reid with the No. 40 overall pick in 1977 out of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He spent his first 10 seasons in the league with the franchise, and helped lead them to NBA Finals appearances in both 1981 and in 1986, though they fell both times to the Boston Celtics. He averaged 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in his 10 seasons with the Rockets. He retired for one season when he was 27 and missed the 1982-83 campaign to focus on his religion, but he returned the following year.

Reid then spent brief stints with the Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers before he retired after the 1991 season. To this day, Reid still ranks in the top 10 in Rockets franchise history in games played, steals, points, rebounds, blocks and assists. Only Hakeem Olajuwon, Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich have played in more games.

"It is with great sorrow that my family and I received the news of the passing of Rockets legend, Robert Reid,” Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said in a statement on social media, in part. "I have had the privilege of knowing Robert for over 40 years, and his presence always brought joy and positivity to any room he entered. I will never forget watching the Rockets teams he was a part of in the '80s compete in the Finals and the love he had for the game.”