You’d be hard-pressed to find a sports organization that has had as much overhaul than the 2020-21 Houston Rockets, as they had to replace former general manager Daryl Morey and former head coach Mike D’Antoni in the same offseason. What followed were trades involving both of their superstar guards, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, not to mention valuable role players like P.J. Tucker.
The Rockets recently received news that long-time CEO Tad Brown will be stepping down at the end of the season, which will be on April 16th for the Rockets. Replacing Brown will be a tall order, as he had the ability to connect to the players off the court in a way that not many executives can.
On Tuesday it was announced that long-time TV broadcaster Bill Worrell will be retiring at the end of the season.
? @ATTSportsNetSW will celebrate Worrell’s career by having special guests join during his final broadcast.
“I’d like to thank the Rockets, AT&T SportsNet and most importantly, the fans that have allowed me to be a small part of their lives. It has been an incredible ride!”
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 11, 2021
Worrell spent the better part of four decades with the Rockets and always found a way of inserting his “cold-blooded” catch phrase in the most seamless and captivating manner. Worrell will also be remembered for referencing cities on the outskirts of Houston whenever a Rockets player makes a 3-point shot from a far distance.
But Worrell’s work hasn’t just been limited to the Rockets, as he had a 20-year stint with the Houston Astros and even called some games for the Houston Oilers.
How the Houston Rockets need to move forward without Bill Worrell
Let’s face it, the Rockets won’t be able to replace Worrell by definition, as he’s become the voice of Houston sports and certainly of Rockets basketball. But you don’t have to take my word for it, just listen to Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon.
Hakeem Olajuwon (@@DR34M) on Bill Worrell retiring as the Rockets television play-by-play broadcaster: “I cannot even imagine the Rockets game without his voice and what he has contributed to the team and the organization. He’s a legend in his own right, no question about that.” pic.twitter.com/DhY5nWCYTl
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 12, 2021
But the Rockets are in a good position to move forward without Worrell, as the move likely means that Craig Ackerman will get the full-time job, and rightfully so, as he’s done a masterful job when he’s called games.
Ackerman has been tasked with the TV broadcasts during road games and has handling the radio broadcasts during home games, so he’s certainly more than qualified and prepared for a full-time promotion. For this reason, the Rockets don’t need to be searching for an external replacement for Worrell.
Ackerman and Matt Bullard have made for a great tandem thus far, and we’d all benefit from seeing them work together full-time. As for Bullard, there haven’t been any talks about Bullard leaving, although he did drop a nugget about being pursued for coaching jobs around the league.
So the decision should be simple for the Rockets, as it pertains to life without Worrell. And speaking of which, let’s all wish Worrell a happy retirement, as he’s certainly earned it.