Lifetime Learning From Father Prepared Silas For Rockets Job

Lifetime Learning From Father Prepared Silas For Rockets Job

Growing up with an NBA coach as a father, Stephen Silas started his education into the ins and outs of coaching long before he chose it as a career.

HOUSTON: Growing up with an NBA coach as a father, Stephen Silas started his education into the ins and outs of coaching long before he chose it as a career.

When he decided to pursue the profession, it was his father, now-retired Paul Silas who gave him his first job as an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets. Twenty years later, the younger Silas continues to follow in his fathers footsteps as he begins his first head coaching job with the Houston Rockets.

The reason Im here is because of him, the reason Im prepared for this position is because Ive been preparing for this all my life, Silas said Thursday after being introduced in Houston following his hiring Friday.

The Rockets hired Silas after Mike DAntoni decided not to return when his contract expired following Houstons loss to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Along with the Hornets, the 47-year-old Silas has worked as an assistant in Cleveland, Washington, Golden State and has spent the last three seasons in Dallas. He knows those years of experience have helped prepare him for this opportunity but believes being exposed to great coaches as a child helped shape him as well.

Its been being in locker rooms for years when I was little, he said. My dad coached with Chuck Daly and Pat Riley and I was there and watching film with my dad. And all the things and the people that Ive met and the things that Ive learned over those years, thats what makes me ready for this position.

Paul Silas won three NBA titles during a 16-year playing career before spending the next 32 years in various NBA coaching positions. He was the head coach of the San Diego Clippers, the Hornets, Cavaliers and Bobcats.

Stephen Silas played for Brown in the Ivy League. He recalled the moment he phoned his now 77-year-old father to tell him that hed been hired by the Rockets.

It was amazing, he said adding that he’s already sent him a box of Rockets’ gear. It was the best feeling in the world because he gave me my first opportunity and asked me, do you want to coach?

Silas inherits a team led by stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook that has been to the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons.

For me it being my first head coaching experience and being in a win- now situation thats great, Silas said. Im a win-now coach. So, to not have to deal with growing and all that type of stuff, to think championship right away is exciting to me and I prepared for it and Im ready for it.

Silas doesnt have any major changes planned for the team, but just wants to try and improve on what has already been successful. He met with both Harden and Westbrook during the interview process and was impressed with their team-first attitude.

I didnt know either guy very well coming into the situation, Silas said. So, for them to be talking less about stats or offense or whatever and talking more about, hey, we have an opportunity to win and win big, that was so gratifying.

Silas will work under new general manager Rafael Stone, who was also introduced Thursday after being promoted last month when Daryl Morey stepped down. Stone, who most recently served as Houstons executive vice president of basketball operations, has worked in the teams front office for the last 15 years.

He said his new position shouldnt be that big of a transition because he and Morey worked hand-in-hand over the past few years. Morey was hired as Philadelphias president of basketball operations on Monday.

Stone was coy when asked about his plans for upgrading the roster as the Rockets chase their first title since winning back-to-back trophies in 1994-95.

We have an immensely talented roster… the goal is to bring in another guy or two who can really complement these guys, he said. And there are a variety of mechanisms we can use to do it. And well be just incredibly aggressive about making that happen.


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