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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.
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Rockets Name Stephen Silas Head Coach
Posted: October 30, 2020 -- 3:55 p.m. CT
The Houston Rockets today named Stephen Silas the 14th head coach in franchise history. Silas spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach on Rick Carlisle's staff in Dallas, helping guide the Mavericks to the highest offensive rating in NBA history in 2019-20.
"This is an opportunity that was well-earned and long overdue for Coach Silas and we're thrilled to have him as head coach," said Rockets owner Tilman J. Fertitta. "Stephen is a basketball lifer who is highly regarded around the league. Our basketball operations leaders Rafael Stone and Eli Witus, along with Tad Brown and Patrick Fertitta, conducted an extensive search of many worthy candidates, but in the end we knew Stephen was the right person for the job. I know Stephen cannot wait to get to work and I hope Rockets fans are as excited as I am for the upcoming season."
"The success Coach Silas had with Dallas last season reinforced the notion that he is more than ready to lead his own team," said Rockets General Manager Rafael Stone. "The strengths of our core players are a great fit for Coach Silas' system and ideology; and, I'm looking forward to working with him to find ways we can continue to improve our roster."
"I'd like to thank Mr. Fertitta and Rafael for this tremendous opportunity as well as all of the mentors I've had over the years, especially my dad, Paul," said Silas. "Basketball has been a huge part of my life since the day I was born and this is the moment I've strived for. I've been fortunate to have coached some great players over the course of my career and am excited to work with this incredibly talented team as we build upon the success they have established."
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The 2019-20 season marked Silas' 19th as an assistant coach in the NBA. His first stint as an assistant came with the original Charlotte Hornets in 2000-01 after being promoted from scout. At the time, Silas was the youngest assistant coach in the league at 27.
Silas joined the Mavericks in 2018-19 and was tasked with helping improve the team's offense. Dallas averaged 15.1 3-pointers made this past season, marking the most by any team in NBA history besides the Rockets. The Mavericks shot 36.7% from behind the arc, which is the highest percentage by any team which averaged at least 14.0 threes made per game in league history. Dallas also ranked second in the league in fewest turnovers (12.7 per game) and tied for third in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.94).
Prior to joining Dallas, Silas spent eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, including as their associate head coach during the 2017-18 season. As a member of Steve Clifford's staff in 2015-16, Silas helped the Hornets to their highest win total in 14 seasons.
Silas spent four-and-a-half seasons as an assistant with Golden State from 2006-10 and worked with Hall of Fame coach and offensive guru Don Nelson. Silas was also on his father Paul Silas' staff in Cleveland during LeBron James' first two seasons in 2003-04 and 2004-05.
In addition to his NBA experience, Silas has coached at camps and clinics around the world to help promote the league and the game of basketball. Upon graduation from Brown University in 1996, where he played four seasons for the Bears basketball team, Silas spent three years as the assistant executive director of the National Basketball Retired Players Association.
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