Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas waited decades to land a head coaching opportunity in the NBA, as he saw many others who were often not as qualified as he was get a chance to roam the sidelines before him. Although Silas had been glued to an assistant role, he made the most of the positions he had on the staffs that he was on, all while building upon his coaching resume.
Although Silas coached star players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kemba Walker, his coaching job with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks cemented his ability to coach at the highest level, as he led the Mavs to the best offense in NBA history in 2019-20, while he operated as the offensive coordinator.
But Silas’s first season in the Space City didn’t go as planned, as he dealt with trade requests and/or half effort from his star players that he thought he would be coaching and a myriad of injuries, which saw the Rockets win just 23.6% of their games, which is their lowest since 1982-83 and their third-lowest in franchise history.
In spite of that, Silas maintained a positive spirit at the end of the season, stating that the season would help him become a better coach next season. Unfortunately for Silas, many casual basketball fans and media personalities chalked up the Rockets’ 17-55 record and franchise-record 20-game losing streak as an indictment on him as a coach and proof of his inability to lead a spear a franchise to success.
Kendrick Perkins shares perception of Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas around the league
But the Houston Rockets head coach has been viewed in a much different light around the league, as 14-year NBA veteran and ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins explained to NBC Houston’s Vanessa Richardson on Sports Sunday.
“He’s one of the best as far as putting guys in position to be successful offensively. That’s been his reputation throughout the league.
He’s a guy that doesn’t shortcut anything, he’s a guy that punches the clock, but he’s a magician when it comes to the offensive end of basketball.
With Stephen Silas, the thing I love about his approach is that he’s a players coach. Players gravitate towards him.”
Perkins’ comments shouldn’t come as a surprise, as we’ve seen several superstar players speak out in favor of Silas, starting with Golden State Warriors star and former MVP Steph Curry.
“Coach Silas is always good in my book. He helped me understand what it meant to be a pro and see the game as a point guard.
He’s such a good, solid dude; he shoots it to you straight, very approachable. He made me very comfortable asking questions and learning. He pushed me, too.”
Doncic was also very positive about Silas when it was announced that he was going to the Rockets.
Although the Rockets’ season didn’t go as planned, there were several positives for Silas, including the team’s six-game winning streak immediately following the Harden trade. And more importantly, next year the Rockets won’t be ravished with the same injuries that plagued them this season (one can only assume).
With a boatload of first-round draft picks in this month’s draft, Silas and the Rockets can only improve in 2021-22.