We recently reached out to the new courtside reporter for the Houston Rockets, Cayleigh Griffin, to talk about title hopes, team chemistry and more.
Cayleigh Griffin has previously reported for the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers but found a new home in Houston this season. Now as the courtside reporter for the Houston Rockets, we reached out to her to ask about the locker room environment, underrated player personalities, the team’s title hopes and more.
Here’s what Griffin had to say to Space City Scoop:
Q: How does it feel being back in Texas? I know the Spurs broadcasting team embraced you during your time there.
A: It feels great! Coming from the Northeast, I really never expected to end up in Texas to begin with, let alone twice – but here we are! San Antonio really embraced me and I am so appreciative of my time there. They took a chance on me as a 23-year old and allowed me to learn so much. However, I am so thrilled to be here in Houston! I’m still very much new to the city, especially since we’ve had so many road games to start so I’m trying to learn the different areas. I’ve really liked it so far and everyone has been so welcoming.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the environment around the Rocket players? It seems like there would be a lot of joking around with the likes of Russ and James, but also some intensity since the team’s expectations are so high. Is it sort of a combination of both?
A: I think you could say it’s a bit of both. These players care about each other and have the same goal in mind. You can certainly tell how close James and Russ are. The group as a whole likes to poke fun at each other — some of the guys were joking with PJ as he headed into media availability today and James and Russ were joking around with Danuel House Jr. the other night after the game about his shoes. They enjoy each other, and that’s so important, especially when looking to accomplish what this group is aiming for.
Q: Following up on that, are there any members of the Rockets that you’ve noticed have a particularly close relationship with one another? And are there some underrated personalities that you wish the fans had a chance to see more of?
A: I think Danuel House Jr. has a lot of personality and fans will see it more and more as the season continues.
Q: I understand you played some basketball in high school. Be honest: have you attempted the James Harden one-legged 3-pointer at all, and if so, have you had any success? And do you think James will ever attempt the shot in a regular-season game?
A: I played basketball my whole life and yes… I did try that one-legged 3-pointer a few times after he first debuted it. I did not have any success, but I’m certainly willing to keep trying. I started to find a rhythm my last few attempts but it just doesn’t look as good when I do it – ha! I also fully expect to see James pull that out of his bag of tricks at some point this season. We’re not even 20 games in – he has plenty of time!
Q: And finally, as it stands now, how high do you see this team’s ceiling, and what is the number one thing you think they need to improve to contend for a title?
A: I think through this first month of games, we’ve really seen a lot of good from this team and spurts of how good they can be, but we’ve also seen areas where they need to improve in order to reach their ceiling, and that’s so important. If they didn’t have those lapses early on, that would probably be more concerning. This team has two NBA MVPs on its roster and has an MVP on the floor at all times. That is just insane.
The goal is the Finals and a title, of course, and they certainly have the talent to be able to do that, especially with how Clint Capela has been playing as of late. This team has continued to stress improving defensively and bringing the same energy throughout all four quarters. If they can continue to do those two things, the Rockets are going to be really difficult to beat.