Stephen Silas, Houston Rockets agree to part ways
The Houston Rockets and head coach Stephen Silas have decided to part ways, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported Sunday after the Rockets’ final regular season game. He reportedly had a fourth-year option tied for 2023-24.
Team management is expected to meet with Silas on Monday to formally announce the decision, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“I feel proud,” Silas said after Sunday’s game. “I wanted to be a head coach my whole life like my dad (Paul Silas). I’m proud of these guys. There’s been a lot of talk about my job for a long time. They kept working and playing hard, playing hard for their coach. I’m proud of that.”
With their 114-109 win over the Washington Wizards, the Rockets finished the regular season at 22-60, the second-worst record in the Western Conference and the third-worst in the league (at the time of this publishing).
The Rockets will be in prime lottery contention to land the No. 1 pick and super-prospect Victor Wembanyama in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft. If not, Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller and Amen Thompson aren’t bad consolation prizes, either.
Silas, who was hired prior to the 2020-21 season after Mike D’Antoni, went 59-177 in three seasons with Houston — only winning 26 percent of his games in one season. According to The Athletic‘s report, Houston was on the verge of firing Silas after poor starts this season and last, though he was able to save his job by picking up needed wins.
“A rocky 2-12 start mirrored a 1-15 start the year prior, both of which came with serious thoughts of firing Silas, sources told The Athletic,” the report read. “Internal progress markers were set which he had to meet to continue on as head coach but ultimately, he was able to save his job in both instances with several timely wins during those early evaluation periods.
“Silas then dealt with the loss of his father, Paul, on Dec. 11, by which point the Rockets fully intended to allow Silas to finish the season.”
Though what lacked throughout Silas’ tenure was identity, specifically on the offensive end. In a league where scoring was at a premium, Houston was the fourth-worst offense, sporting a 55.4 true-shooting percentage with a 51.6 effective field-goal percentage, both of which were bottom-two marks in the NBA. There were also plenty of occasions where Silas was critical of his group’s defensive effort and attention to detail too.
Now, a new coach will be tasked with developing whoever they select in the draft, as well as Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr., the No. 3 overall pick last year. According to The Athletic, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Lakers and Magic head coach Frank Vogel are expected to be among the initial coaching candidates.
“It’s been fun,” Silas said earlier this week. “It’s been a great experience. It has been something that I’ll treasure for my whole life. Being a part of this organization, being in this stage with these wide-eyed young guys and their want to be coached, taught and mentored at times. I’m thankful to all the people who poured into me so I could pour back out to them. It’s been a rough year as far as a lot of things but I am so proud of these guys and their growth.”
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for details.
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