Third-year guard Kevin Porter Jr., who dealt with off-court issues early in his NBA career, said earlier this week that the Rockets “saved my life” and “picked me up when I was down.” Head coach Stephen Silas isn’t taking those words lightly, telling reporters on Tuesday that it means a lot to him to develop such important relationships with players, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.
“It means everything,” Silas said. “That’s why you coach. For the stories, for the guys who maybe aren’t given a shot or feel like they are not able to have the opportunity they deserve. Hopefully, I can put … him in a position where he can be as successful as he can possibly be, whatever it is.”
Silas only has one year of experience as a head coach under his belt, but showed during his years as an assistant coach that he was capable of making those connections with his players, according to Rockets guard D.J. Augustin.
“Steve’s always been like that,” Augustin said, per Feigen. “I was with Steve in Charlotte when he was an assistant. He’s always been a great people person. Some coaches, they’re not good with communicating with players off the court. Steve is that guy who has the ability to kind of connect with players, especially with younger guys.”
Here’s more on the Rockets:
- In a conversation with Kelly Iko of The Athletic, new Rockets center Daniel Theis discussed a wide range of topics, including his first impressions of Houston – and of Silas – and his desire to be a mentor to Houston’s young players. Theis said Al Horford and Aron Baynes, his former teammates in Boston helped him understand what it takes to be a leader on a young team.
- With Theis in the mix, Christian Wood is expecting to play more at the power forward position this season, he said on Thursday (Twitter link via Iko).
- With Theis and Wood expected to start together in the frontcourt and Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. penciled in as the backcourt starters, Houston’s small forward spot is up for grabs, Iko writes for The Athletic. While Danuel House, Kenyon Martin Jr., and David Nwaba will all be in the mix for minutes at that spot, Iko suggests either Jae’Sean Tate or Eric Gordon figures to be the fifth starter. Tate may have the leg up because Gordon is a more natural fit as a sixth man.