Rockets' Legend Mario Elie Relives 1994, 1995 Finals Runs in Twitter Q&A
Former Rockets guard Mario Elie was never a standout player. He played for five teams in 11 NBA seasons (including two stints with the Suns), and he never averaged more than 11.7 points per game in a season. Elie was a solid bench asset throughout the 1990s, though nobody would confuse him for an All-Star. Yet despite his middling stats, Elie will certainly live on in Rockets' lore for decades to come.
Elie was a member of the 1994 and 1995 Rockets' teams that won the Finals, logging 24 and 23.4 minutes per game in each season. But in the 1995 Western Conference finals, Elie grew from quality contributor to Houston legend. Elie's "Kiss of Death" shot to beat the Suns in Game 7 remains perhaps the greatest moment in Rockets' history.
Elie turned back the clock on Wednesday, holding a Twitter Q&A to relive the 1994 and 1995 Finals runs. And Elie's conversation with Rockets' fans (and general manager Daryl Morey) provided plenty of interesting tidbits.
Here are the best answers from Elie's Q&A on Wednesday. (Answers have been edited for length and clarity)
Elie: "I would’ve [loved] to see Clyde [Drexler] and [James] Harden play. Two guards with great size and skills."
Elie: "He wasn’t happy and was laser focus. He made moves we never seen before. Fun to be part of that."
Elie: "1995 was the hardest road out of any team in NBA history. Having no home court advantage and winning nine road games. Lowest seed ever to win a championship."
Elie: "First round Game 5 against Utah 1995. [Fourth quarter] our season on the line and listening to [Olajuwon] say we have to make our move now and we did. We responded like [a] champion."
Elie: "Sure did. Felt great leaving my hands and the best thing of all was it went all net."