HOUSTON — In poignant comments after Sunday’s season-finale loss to Atlanta, Rockets coach Stephen Silas said he was proud of the growth shown by his young team during the 2021-22 year.
Though the Rockets finished with the NBA’s worst record, which secures a top-five draft pick in June, that type of season was largely foreseeable with such a young roster. Rather than wins, the priority was seeing growth from the team’s younger prospects, which Houston definitely did from third-year guard Kevin Porter Jr. and rookies Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Josh Christopher among others.
Shortly after Sunday’s game at Toyota Center went final, Silas was asked about his feeling as the closing minutes ticked down. He replied:
I told the guys in the huddle in the last timeout just how proud I am of them, and how hard they worked and how they all had great attitudes. Each guy, to a man, was great. As far as the results of the season, definitely disappointing… but the growth we’ve seen, I guess the feeling I felt as the season drained away the last few seconds, was a feeling of pride.
It’s hard. It’s a hard, hard season. Growing pains are really hard. Just making sure that they understand a few things; how hard it is to win in the NBA and how they should be proud of themselves, but how we also have work to do.
This is what I told the team: ‘When we’re in position of knocking on the door of the playoffs, and winning a playoff series and ultimately winning it all, remember this feeling. It’s pretty raw right now, as far as being so proud of them, feeling for them that they went through such a tough season … but also the people, how they stayed together throughout the whole thing.
Though the Rockets have not confirmed it, all indications are Silas will return in 2022-23 for his third season at the helm.
Silas, general manager Rafael Stone, and select players will comment further on Monday as part of an end-of-season media availability. Stick with Rockets Wire for complete coverage throughout the day.
Stephen Silas with a poignant message when asked about his feeling as the seconds ticked down on the 2021-22 #Rockets season.
“A feeling of pride. …Growing pains are hard.”
Silas wants his players to remember this feeling when they’re “winning it all.” pic.twitter.com/nE4AUbG6qX
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) April 10, 2022