On Sunday, the Rockets made the much-expected decision to part ways with head coach Stephen Silas. Silas had an option for the fourth and final year of his contract, and the Rockets decided to go in a different direction.
But although this had been the franchise's worst-kept secret, the manner in which the news was broken drew ire from many in the basketball world. As the Rockets were in the middle of their game against the Washington Wizards, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the front office had made their decision regarding Silas' future.
Is there a problem with the manner in which the Houston Rockets let go of Stephen Silas?
First off, let's acknowledge that this is, indeed, a bad look. It's not often that news is broken regarding a coach's future during a live game, and it's not something that should happen.
It's not too much to ask to at least wait until the game is over to leak the news to the media. And while it's certainly well within the realm of possibility that the Rockets made the national media aware prior to the game, that is also not the most advisable path, especially seeing how Silas stated that he hadn't yet met with the franchise regarding his future, as his meeting with the franchise's top officials was slated for the following morning.
At the same time, Silas had to have known that he was getting axed before Wojnarowski's report. It seemed obvious last Tuesday, prior to the Rockets' match against the Denver Nuggets, as Silas took the podium to discuss his coaching future with the team during his pre-game presser.
If you recall, Silas stated that his three-year contract was coming to a close and he hadn't heard from Rockets GM Rafael Stone or Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta regarding whether anything would be changing on that front. If the Rockets were going to pick up his option or extend him, he would've known well before the 80th game of the season.
So although Silas may not have been given the official news yet, he surely knew his fate already. If he didn't, why would he have been saying his farewells already? Silas began expressing how proud he was of the job he did, which he should certainly be, and stated that whatever happens will happen.
That doesn't exactly sound like someone who was unaware of the circumstances and/or expecting to continue in his current role. So although the manner in which the news was broken leaves alot to be desired, the mere fact that Silas had a premonition that he wouldn't be back makes it much better than it may appear to the naked eye.