Vernon Maxwell celebrated the anniversary of the '95 Rockets this week.    (Getty)
Vernon Maxwell celebrated the anniversary of the '95 Rockets this week. (Getty)

Vernon Maxwell was a tough dude. He was a huge part of the 1994 Rockets team who won the NBA title, and at one point ran into the stands to punch a fan who heckled him. He embodied 90's basketball for his toughness and willingness to pretty much throw down with anyone that wanted a piece of him. He was upset when the Rockets traded for Clyde Drexler in 1995, taking his minutes away which lead to him eventually being waived by the team after the 1995 title. 

He hadn't returned to Houston until this week. As part of the Rockets' celebration of the 1995 championship team, he came back and visited with the team and his old teammates. He spoke with the media and he mentioned the most common controversy about those great Rockets teams: whether they could have beaten Jordan's Bulls if Jordan hadn't retired for two years. 

"Google the times we played them. They couldn't beat us. (The Rockets) couldn't get past Seattle (in 1996), but if we had, we would have knocked off Chicago. They couldn't match up with us. One time, just one time, I wish I could have gotten a seven-game series with them. I wanted that."

To be fair, there was this in 1996: 

But that was the Sixers, not the Rockets. With Hakeem Olajuwon inside which would have forced doubles, and the spot-up shooters and reliance on the 3-point shot the Rockets had (which was ahead of its time), Houston vs. those Bulls would have been a classic matchup. We'll never know who would have come out ahead, but even with respect due to the Greatest Of All Time, don't sleep on how good those Rockets teams were. 

Between 1993 and 1997, the Rockets went 5-5 against Chicago. They lost both of their games vs. Chicago in 1996. 

For a look at how good Maxwell was in his prime:

HT: The Dream Shake