As a debacle has occurred in the Houston Rockets’ locker room, will Stephen Silas be able to rebuild the fractured locker room?
Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas is known for sparking up relationships with players, which could come in handy considering the fact that Russell Westbrook has demanded a trade from the Rockets. Aside from Westbrook’s trade request, Silas could be forced to play the role of peacemaker for the first time, as the Rockets are reportedly having problems in the locker room, according to The Athletic (subscription required).
The locker room divide happened under former head coach Mike D’ Antoni’s watch, which puts Silas in an awkward position.
Silas was extremely optimistic to have the opportunity to coach two MVP players in Westbrook and James Harden. Now that problems have occurred, the chances of coaching Westbrook and Harden are slim, as Westbrook is reportedly concerned about the culture and holding Harden to a higher standard of his mistakes.
Austin Rivers was also reportedly unhappy about Harden blaming him over a missed free throw, in addition to his usage on the court. Danuel House was reportedly upset over his usage as well, which also sparked arguments with Harden. Dialogue between Harden and several of his former star teammates have not gone well either, as past history has shown with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
The breakup between Daryl Morey, D’Antoni, and Harden was healthy for the culture of the Rockets. Morey and D’Antoni would let Harden get away with certain things because of his iconic scoring.
For this reason, it’s questionable to see Westbrook not even attempt to give new Rockets GM Rafael Stone and Silas, because of the track history of Silas. Silas seems determined to make sure every player is involved on offense, as opposed to what we’ve seen in the past, which has simply been Harden’s isolation play.
Houston Rockets forward Robert Covington got a chance to talk to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on The Jump, as he provided details on the conversation he had with Silas.
“Yes, I’ve spoken to him. He’s a good dude. He’s already said that he wants to change the dynamic of things, and he has so much that he has in tune for us. With the program that we have and the team that we have, he can do a lot.
He wanted this job to be able to make a change, and have the opportunity to coach two prolific, MVP-caliber superstars. Not too many people get that opportunity with their first head-coaching job.
He’s up for the challenge, and he’s told me that he wants everyone to be mentally focused and locked in. And overall, just continue to come in and work. Because it’s going to be a different transition, what his dynamic is. He’s just excited for the opportunity.”
Covington added that he feels Silas is a culture changer and and is willing to weather the drama with the Houston Rockets.
It’s virtually impossible for Westbrook to get traded because of his contract, so it’s possible that Silas might get his chance to coach two MVP players. Hopefully, Silas is able to hold Harden more accountable for his actions than D’ Antoni was, while also being able to cure Westbrook of his stubbornness.
Although many people across the NBA view Silas as a nice guy, the Rockets need an authoritarian coach for their locker room debacle. This will especially hold true if Westbrook gets traded, so hopefully Silas can help Harden get along with his future teammates better.