26 years after capping off back-to-back NBA title runs with the Houston Rockets, Vernon Maxwell wants to contribute to the team differently, by following the footsteps of many former players and putting on the headset. A dream that he once longed for as a child.
The trend of players transitioning into broadcasters isn’t much of a surprise. Many who have ever picked up a ball and played at any level have spent countless hours as a youth letting their imagination take them from an empty outdoor court to a packed arena for a championship game - echoing each move made with self-induced commentary and crowd reactions. It’s where creativity turns to realized dreams.
It’s also not a shock that Maxwell wants to spend time around the game - his whole life has been about basketball. He’s grown up watching as a fan, played college ball at Florida, became a two-time champ in Houston, and trained his son up to Division 1-level talent. It was just a matter of time until the next step is taken.
So once he announced through Twitter his aspirations to join the Rockets broadcast team after Bill Worrell announced his retirement, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision nor was it him wanting to try something new, it was him chasing desire.
Idk who needs to hear this but I’d love to take Bill Worrell’s position. Not saying I could ever do what he does but I would definitely bring something different to the broadcast. #makehtownclutchagain— Vernon Maxwell (@VernonMaxwell11) May 12, 2021
“(Broadcasting) is something I went to school for, (outside of playing in the NBA) my dream job was commentating on the game while it’s being played.” - Maxwell.
To the table he brings 16 years of playing experience at the highest level, giving him an understanding of the game that he believes draws fans to the insight and analysis of former players - a level of interest that he’s received tons of through Houston fans whom he refers to as his second family.
However, despite the everlasting love shown to him by Red Nation, he feels that there is a disconnect from the organization and cites a never-developed connection with Rocket Owner Tillman Fertitta as the main reason.
“(Fertitta) and I haven’t been able to build a great relationship. The previous owners loved me and kept me involved, however that’s declined since he’s arrived”. - Maxwell
Maxwell wants to feel involved again, he wants a shot at more opportunities and to sit down with Fertitta to make things happen. He wants to receive that same love that former players receive from franchises when they help bring a championship to the city.
That want is likely one that will be discussed on his podcast, which is currently in the works. It’ll feature guests like Reggie Miller, Metta World Peace, and Robert Horry (who just had him as a guest on a pod of his own).
Outside of the guests, Maxwell’s platform will tell the tales of training his son Tristan, who was named the state player of the year in North Carolina by the Charlotte Observer after his senior season concluded in 2019. Tristan is currently playing at Georgia Tech and is still a freshman after the ongoing pandemic led to the NCAA awarding players with a free year of eligibility.
While there hasn’t been an arrival date for the podcast, what was announced was his name last week during a speech by former Rocket Rudy Tomjanovich who was being inducted into the hall of fame - saying that he wanted to thank Maxwell for “being a warrior”. Those simple words yet powerful words stood out to him.
“Rudy T mentioning me in his speech really meant a lot, for him to think about me... That was very special.” - Maxwell.
While he awaits a meeting with Fertitta, more opportunities with the Rockets, and a release date for his podcast, Maxwell is going to stay busy. He has plans on throwing a party next year in Utah during the All-Star weekend and also wants to eventually have a basketball game organized there as well. Going back to the state that he’s often throwing jabs at because of prior racism-filled experiences in the past won’t feel strange to him. If he were a commentator, he’d describe it as the same as “traveling while playing ball”.
Ultimately, he’s ready for the next steps in life and is truly hoping that being a voice of the Houston Rockets is one of them.