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Issue 17 Out Now

20 Years in the Making

Stephen Silas (Getty Images)

“The reason I’m here is because of him, the reason I’m prepared for this position is because I’ve been preparing for this all my life,” — Stephen Silas

Stephen Silas has been a part of NBA culture roughly his entire life. After all, his father is now-retired, former NBA player and Coach, Paul Silas. In 1999 it was Paul Silas who offered his son Stephen his first opportunity to work in the NBA, as a scout for the Charlotte Hornets. A year later he was assistant coach.

Now over two decades later, Silas has captured his first head coaching job with the Houston Rockets and credits his father most for his success.

Silas is coming into an organization to replace future Hall of Fame Coach, Mike D’antoni. In four years with the team , he won 68% of his games and was one win away from an NBA Finals appearance in 2018. Although a void in D’antoni’s absence could be felt, there are some within the Rockets organization that firmly believe Silas has just what it takes to get the team over the hump.

“This is an opportunity that was well-earned and long overdue for Coach Silas and we’re thrilled to have him as head coach. Stephen is a basketball lifer who is highly regarded around the league,” — Rockets Owner, Tilman Ferttita

Prior to joining the Rockets, Silas coached under some of the most legendary head coaches the league has ever produced. Including Don Nelson the NBA Head Coach who he served under during the 2006–2010 season on the Golden State Warriors, and Championship Head Coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks the previous two years.

“I’ve learned so much from Rick, for all working for a championship coach is amazing and that’s all he thought about was championship,” said Silas. He’s so adaptable and makes those decisions look so easy, his game coaching is second to none in the NBA as far as preparing for a game, coaching the game, and managing the timeouts while dealing with the referees.

Under the two coaches stewardship, Silas gained mentors that inspired him. He cultivated their trust, and soaked up as much information as possible to help lay the groundwork. He knew, when his time came, preparation wouldn’t be a problem.

“The success Coach Silas had with Dallas last season reinforced the notion that he is more than ready to lead his own team…Stephen was the most prepared person we talked to and that’s not to be negative on anyone else, we talked to really smart qualified guys, the people we sat down with all did a really good job in their own way, but Stephen’s level of preparedness, his ability to had thought through every single thing we threw at him. Kind of his unique mind, some of his answers were really, really interesting”. — Rockets General Manager, Rafael Stone.

The younger Silas will have his hands full with expectations,pressure, along with having to earn the trust of the franchise’s best players James Harden and his superstar side-kick Russell Westbrook.

“The reason I’m prepared for this position is because I’ve been preparing for this my entire life, it just hasn’t been 20 years of coaching, it’s been being in locker rooms for years when I was little, my dad coached with Chuck Daly and Pat Riley and I was there,” said Silas. Watching film with my dad, and all of the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned over the years, that’s what makes me ready for this position”. “So I’m excited to be apart of the Houston Rockets”.

While in most cases for a first time head coach, the pressures of the sports world could become too much to handle. Silas welcomes it, in fact if you ask him, this is something he’s been born to do.

“I worked for Don Nelson an outside the box thinker and we were playing small-ball back in 2006,2007…Nellie is a basketball genius and Hall of Famer and I learned so much from him, and looking at the roster there are so many things we did back then in Golden State that we can do with this group”. — Stephen Silas
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