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Rockets decide not to pick up coach Stephen Silas' option

Houston hired Stephen Silas in 2020 and he finished 22-60 this season.

Stephen Silas went 59-117 in three seasons with the Houston Rockets.

The Houston Rockets and coach Stephen Silas have officially parted ways as the team decided not to pick up his option for the 2023-24 season.

“On behalf of the Fertitta family and the entire Rockets organization, I would like to thank Stephen for his contributions to the team and the Houston community over the past three seasons,” Rockets general manager Rafael Stone said in a statement Monday. “I have great respect for Stephen both as a person and as a basketball mind. His character, leadership, and positivity have been invaluable during this stage of our growth.”


Silas finished the 2022-23 season 22-60, which was tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the second-worst record in the NBA. Overall, he went 59-177 in three seasons with the Rockets.

Silas, speaking to reporters in Washington after the team’s final game was over on April 9, said he had a meeting with Rockets officials scheduled for Monday morning but did not confirm that his tenure as Houston’s coach was over. However, he seemed prepared for that likelihood and reflected on his time with the Rockets.

“I feel proud,” he said. “I wanted to be a head coach my whole life. I wanted to be like my dad. Proud of these guys, proud of their hard work, proud of their growth and maturity as they got through the season.”

The Rockets finished with the NBA’s worst record in each of his first two seasons as they traded or released all their established stars to embark on a complete rebuild.

Houston won four of its last five games, but it wasn’t nearly enough to save the job of Silas, who joined the Rockets after spending 20 years with various NBA teams as an assistant coach and scout.

“There’s been a lot of talk about my job for a long time, right? For a couple months,” Silas said. “They just kept playing and kept working and trying hard and weren’t worried about that. They were worried about getting better and playing hard for their coach. I’m proud of that.”

It was a difficult season for Silas. His father, longtime NBA player and coach Paul Silas, died in December.

“Definitely a hard year. Death is hard when your person closest to you, the person who teaches you all about what you’re doing on a daily basis, you lose him, it makes it difficult,” Silas said. “What made it easier was a group of guys in that locker room who wouldn’t quit, just tried hard and wanted to do the right things. And a staff full of people who I could share quiet moments with or lean on.”

The Rockets will be one of three teams with the best odds to win the draft lottery and get the No. 1 pick at 14%. Houston selected Jabari Smith with the third pick last year and drafted Jalen Green at No. 2 in 2021.

Houston hasn’t had the first overall pick since 2002 when the team drafted Yao Ming.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.