Back in 2004, Matt Bullard was the runner-up on an ESPN reality show called Dream Job, on which numerous NBA players competed for a chance to land an analyst's job at the network. Ironically, today, the winner of that show (Dee Brown) is bouncing around from job to job in the coaching world, while Bullard thrives in his role as color commentator for Houston Rockets television broadcasts. Bringing the perfect combination of sarcastic wit and more than a decade of real NBA experience (including nine seasons as a Rocket), Bullard combines with Bill Worrell (and for home games, with Clyde Drexler, as well) to deliver a viewer experience that's insightful with just the right sprinkle of "hometown candor." Put it this way: Bullard isn't afraid to let the referees know if they've missed a call that should have gone the Rockets' way. That's why we love him — once a Rocket, always a Rocket!

Unlike almost any other Houston neighborhood, the Museum District is worth exploring on foot for both the scenery and the amount of activities it offers. Roughly bordered by the Southwest Freeway (north), Hermann Park (south), Almeda Road (east) and Rice University (west), the district includes some of Houston's marquee attractions — the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, the Japanese Gardens — to go with the 20 museums from which it takes its name. Thanks to the abundant old-growth trees lining the streets, it's one of the shadiest parts of Houston, a recommendation all by itself. But there's plenty of other stuff worth seeing on your morning or evening stroll: the stately churches lining Main Street south of 59, the Braes Bayou trail, and so many doctor's offices and hospitals that some parts feel more like a mini-Medical Center. And of course, if you really want to push your stamina, you can always step across Cambridge Street to the real thing.

The Texans were the worst team in the NFL last year, and their star wide receiver and longest-tenured player? Andre Johnson was seventh in the league in receiving yards and third in receptions despite catching passes from three different quarterbacks. Johnson has received some criticism for not showing up at offseason workouts. That disapproval would be understandable if Johnson's choice to sit out weren't totally justified. All the man wants is a better-than-average quarterback throwing him the ball so he has a shot at bringing Houston a championship. Keep doing you, Dre.

If you're looking for a good place to do some canoeing, you can't go wrong with Buffalo Bayou, where you can commune with nature right in the middle of the city. There are stretches — particularly the areas running through River Oaks (go figure) — that are still wild and verdant, so you can see great blue herons and take in the natural beauty of Houston that is so easy to overlook when you're navigating through the daily hustle and bustle. Put in at Sabine Street near downtown, paddle up to Shepherd at sunset and, from a view possible only on the water, watch the bats fly out.

There was a saying back in the 1990s that the only reason Michael Jordan wouldn't win the MVP award some seasons is that writers were tired of voting for him. The same could probably be said of Fonde Rec Center and the "Best Place for a Pickup Game" Award in the city of Houston. It is, quite simply, the mecca of pickup basketball in this city and one of the most famous nationwide. For years now, Fonde has been renowned as one of the best places for aspiring hoopers to hone their game, and for basketball junkies to spot some of their favorite current and former NBA players keeping their game sharp. Fonde's reach ranges from adults to area kids, since it has also long been the home for many youth camps and local tournaments.

Cypress Trails is located near George Bush Intercontinental Airport, but it's hard to remember this place is anywhere near the city when you're out on a horse taking in the natural beauty. The instructors are patient and helpful with beginners, and they also approve experienced horsewomen and horsemen to take part in trail and endurance rides. No matter their skill set, riders get to enjoy the natural beauty of the winding forested trails alongside Cypress Creek from the back of a horse, watching egrets, herons and other birds winging along banks that in the spring are lined with wildflowers. Rabbits will sometimes appear on the trail, along with the occasional snake. Luckily, the horses are so well-trained and so familiar with the path that even snakes don't spook them. Giddyup.

Best Of Houston®

Best Of