The Rockets’ play-by-play announcer who has been around since before Hakeem Olajuwon and, I’d say it’s fair to say, all of us grew up listening to, appears to be close to hanging it up.
Bill Worrell will only call home games this year — known in Houston as ‘the Clyde Drexler” — and will retire after the 2016-2017 season, ClutchFans reports. In his place on the road will be radio play-by-play guy Craig Ackerman, who is a delight.
Bill Worrell has never been considered along the same lines as Chick Hearn or Marv Albert in the pantheon of great basketball play-by-play announcers, but he’s been reliably on the mic for Rockets games for more than three decades. Last season, he was agonizing at the Rockets’ miserable-looking play along with the rest of us. And, frankly, he should be commended for never once snapping at Clyde Drexler the way I’ve wanted to for about a decade.
This season will be a long end of an era for Rockets fans. Worrell is nearly 70 years old, and deserves a long, peaceful retirement. There will be time for more Worrell memories as the season goes on and the news becomes official, but let me take the time to say: thanks for your years of service, Mr. Worrell. You will be missed.