Former NBA player Ryan Hollins named lead TV analyst for Rockets


Former NBA player and recent league analyst Ryan Hollins will be the lead television analyst for Houston Rockets game broadcasts in the 2021-22 season, the team announced late Thursday. In that role, Hollins is effectively replacing Matt Bullard, who moved into a front office role this offseason after spending more than 15 years in a TV capacity.

Hollins, who did not play for Houston in his 10-year NBA career, joins play-by-play voice Craig Ackerman as the primary broadcasters for official TV partner AT&T SportsNet Southwest. Former Rockets player Mario Elie, who won championships with the franchise in 1994 and 1995, will also appear on AT&T SportsNet’s coverage, according to the team.

From the announcement:

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“We hope Rockets fans are as excited as we are to watch the journey of our young players this season,” said Rockets President of Business Operations Gretchen Sheirr. “We worked with AT&T SportsNet and SportsTalk 790 to put together broadcast teams that will add appreciation and knowledge to the viewing and listening experience.”

Hollins joins the broadcast team from California, where he has worked as a game analyst for CBS and as a studio analyst for Los Angeles Clippers games. He has also worked as an analyst for ESPN and appeared on various programming for them, including SportsCenter and First Take, and has co-hosted “The Opinionated 7-Footers” podcast this past year.

Cayleigh Griffin returns for her third season as the Rockets sideline reporter and host of the weekly magazine show, “Rockets All Access.”

Once again this season, AT&T SportsNet’s pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage will include Kevin Eschenfelder along with Rockets great and Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy.

New this season, Rockets coverage will include reoccurring appearances by Elie, who played in the NBA for 11 seasons and won two championships with Houston and one with San Antonio before spending 10 seasons as an assistant coach.

“That championship Hakeem won, Houston was the team that made me fall in love with basketball,” Hollins (now 36 years old) told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “As a little boy, to look up and say, ‘Who’s that?’ Me and my dad watched that championship. ‘Dad, who is that? What’s a 2-pointer? What’s a 3-pointer?’ I learned the game of basketball watching the Rockets win a championship. Now, it’s come full circle to have the opportunity to be one of the voices of the Houston Rockets. An average, everyday kid has an opportunity like this.”

Matt Thomas will take over as the full-time voice for Houston’s radio broadcasts. In recent years, Ackerman was the radio broadcaster for home games and television for road games — since longtime Rockets voice Bill Worrell was transitioning into retirement. Thomas was the public address (PA) announcer at Toyota Center and the radio broadcaster for road games, sliding in when Ackerman moved to television.

But now that Worrell is retired, Ackerman and Thomas can each take over in full-time play-by-play roles for TV and radio, respectively.

Related

Craig Ackerman, Matt Thomas are Rockets’ play-by-play broadcasters

Matt Bullard not returning as television analyst for Rockets

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Houston Rockets 2021-22 regular-season schedule



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