When the Rockets and Mike D’Antoni decided to mutually part ways following the abrupt ending to their season at the hands of the eventual NBA CHAMPION Lakers, many folks wondered what direction owner Tilman Fertitta would go in during his search for a new leader.
There were rumors of Tyronn Lue, throwback Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, John Lucas and others. But today he hired Stephen Silas, a 46-year-old assistant with the Dallas Mavericks.
Paul Silas became a first-time NBA head coach in 1980.
40 years later, his son, Stephen Silas, will become a first-time NBA head coach with the Rockets. pic.twitter.com/eF0vn8WtXf
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 28, 2020
Six African-American NBA Coaches
Silas’ hire makes him the sixth African American coach in the league joining (Doc Rivers, Tyronn Lue, Monty Williams, Dwane Casey and Lloyd Pierce). That’s exactly 20% of the league’s coaches where 80% of its employees are African American. A far cry from where the Black representation should be for sure, and still well short of the 14 Black coaches that we had in 2012.
Pedigree, Son of A Pro
Silas comes from a rich basketball background as he’s the son of former NBA player and coach Paul Silas, whose playing and coaching career spanned 48 years in the NBA. The elder Silas is most known for being the guy who coached LeBron James right out of high school in 2003.
Stephen broke into the coaching ranks after playing basketball and graduating from Brown University in 1996 with degrees in sociology and management. His first two jobs were under his dad with the Charlotte/ New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
When Silas was hired in 2000, he was the youngest assistant in the league at age 27.
Maximizing The Potential of Harden-Westbrook Super Duo
Silas sold the Rockets on his offensive pedigree and innovation, to go along with strong family ties to the league. He comes highly recommended after stints under well-regarded coaches Rick Carlisle (Mavericks) and Steve Clifford (Magic).
He’s had a ton of success working with elite guards like Luka Doncic, Kemba Walker and Stephen Curry, so he should mesh well with superstar guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Silas has waited 21 years for this opportunity so he’s more paid his dues.
He’s also built a strong reputation in the league for his even-keeled approach and ability o communicate with younger players throughout his career.
Silas may be the new generation voice who can find the perfect chemistry and style of play for his dynamic duo (Beard and Russ). He will implement much more player and ball movement and make all five players live at all times.
Love this hire by Fertitta and Stone. Now Silas needs to surround himself with a solid staff and hopefully keep the aforementioned John Lucas in the fold.