Not every basketball player is fortunate or talented enough to stick around the NBA for as long as they’d like to. Players sometimes only get one shot at staying in the league, and if teams don’t like the look of them, then they’ll find it hard for game time. Richard Petruška had a very eventful career in the NBA after winning the championship and denting the trophy, all in his only season in the league.
Making an impression
Slovakian center, Richard Petruška, spent his early basketball playing in Slovakia before coming to the USA to enroll in the college system. That meant he was able to be drafted by an NBA team and in the second round of the 1993 draft the tall center was picked up by the Houston Rockets.
Petruška managed a total of 53 points in his only season in the NBA, but that was enough to help him get his hands on the championship. The Rockets went all the way to the NBA Finals during Petruška’s first season, and they won the famous trophy in the 1993-94 season. Famously, Petruška dropped the trophy when it was doing the rounds in the locker room, which created a huge dent on the trophy.
Leaving his mark
Petruška had left his mark on the history of the Rockets, not so much for the way he played but this funny piece of history. The Rockets then went on to win the championship the following year too, which meant they had two NBA trophies in their cabinet. The team was sold to Tilman Fertitta and with that sale lost their trophies as outgoing owner Leslie Alexander took them away. That meant the trophy cabinet was sitting empty for the Rockets.
Fixing the issue
Even though it was dented, the Rockets had been missing their trophies for many years. The originals didn’t get taken out much at the Toyota Center anyway, but without them there to show off, it was impossible. Tiffany and Co. have done something very nice for the Rockets and made them replicas of the ones they lost. The memories are still there for many Rockets fans, but having the trophies to look at will make it all feel that bit more authentic.
Was the dent there?
Tiffany and Co. made exact replicas of the ones that the Rockets won many years ago with one detail changed. They did not replicate the dent left in the trophy after Petruška dropped it during the celebrations. The reason Petruška dropped the trophy in the first place was because the ball that sits on top was screwed in.
As the trophy was making its way around the locker room, it gradually became loose, and when it got to Petruška, it was ready to fall. Despite the best efforts of Petruška’s teammate Matt Bullard, the basketball players couldn’t catch the ball before it hit something hard. The dent became as much a part of the championship-winning story as the amazing accomplishments the Rockets achieved on the court.
All the Rockets need now is for someone clumsy to come along and put another nice big dent in the replica, and the trophy cabinet will be perfect. Despite only having one season in the NBA, Richard Petruška sure did make a dent. He helped the Rockets win the championship, and then gave them a hilarious story to always remember it by.