NBA

Houston decide to fire Stephen Silas as head coach after three years leading the Rockets roster

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Stephen-Silas

After three years leading Houston’s roster, the team decided not to pick up Stephen Silas for his fourth-year option and officially part ways. This past campaign, the Rockets tied the San Antonio Spurs as the second-worst record in the NBA, ranking 14th in the Western Conference.

“On behalf of the Fertitta family and the entire Rockets organization, I would like to thank Stephen for his contributions to the team and the Houston community over the past three seasons,” said Rockets’ general manager Rafael Stone at this start of the week.

“I have great respect for Stephen both as a person and as a basketball mind. His character, leadership, and positivity have been invaluable during this stage of our growth,” he concluded.

His 22-60 mark this season, added to his overall record of 59-177 after three seasons with the Texan franchise.

Right after his final game in Washington on April 9, the coach told the press that he had an important meeting on Monday morning to decided his future, but he was not able to confirm the news at that point. Even so, he spoke about his time leading the Rockets as it could almost be seen in his eyes that he knew he’s on his way out.

“I feel proud,” he said. “I wanted to be a head coach my whole life. I wanted to be like my dad. Proud of these guys, proud of their hard work, proud of their growth and maturity as they got through the season.”

It’s been a tough ride for Silas, as his team had the worst records in the league during his first two years as head coach, considering at the time Houston dedicated to trade most of their established stars and begin a complete rebuild.

At least he ended his tenure on a high note, winning four of his last five games this season. Previously, Silas had spent over 20 years gaining experience with various NBA squads working as both an assistant coach and scout.

“There’s been a lot of talk about my job for a long time, right? For a couple months,” Silas said. “They just kept playing and kept working and trying hard and weren’t worried about that. They were worried about getting better and playing hard for their coach. I’m proud of that.”

His father and longtime NBA player and coach died this past December

This hasn’t been an easy tournament for Stephen, both emotionally and on court. His biggest inspiration, his father Paul Silas, who was a very recognized basketball player and head coach, passed away in December.

“Definitely a hard year. Death is hard when your person closest to you, the person who teaches you all about what you’re doing on a daily basis, you lose him, it makes it difficult,” Silas said.

“What made it easier was a group of guys in that locker room who wouldn’t quit, just tried hard and wanted to do the right things. And a staff full of people who I could share quiet moments with or lean on,” the former coach recognized.

One of the only good news in the Rockets camp is that now they’ve become one of three teams with the best odds to win the draft lottery and get the No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama at 14%. Last time around, Houston selected Jabari Smith with the third pick in 2022 and drafted Jalen Green at No. 2 the year before.

The last first overall pick for the Texan squad came all the way back in 2002, when they drafted Yao Ming.