Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta pledges patience, backs Stephen Silas and Rafael Stone

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

For the first time since 1982-83, the Houston Rockets will finish an NBA season with the league’s worst record. But owner Tilman Fertitta doesn’t believe that it’s time to panic about the future.

After all, the 2020-21 Rockets dealt with an enormous amount of adversity, including a forced trade by James Harden and a wave of injuries so severe that Houston set the all-time record for players in one season.

That’s part of why Fertitta says he hasn’t lost confidence in first-year head coach Stephen Silas or first-year general manager Rafael Stone. In a new interview with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Houston’s owner said:

Silas has just shown a great ability to develop these guys, and he’s had thrown at him something that’s unprecedented: To have 29 guys play for a team — and play real minutes. All these injuries happened this year. This will never happen again. It’s hard to believe we were 11-10, and then all the injuries started. I think he’s handled it unbelievably. It was hard on everybody.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Fertitta also said he had trust in Stone and would not rush Houston’s rebuilding efforts out of a desire to be competitive sooner.

I can tell you this: I’m going to be patient. I know my basketball guys know what they’re doing. We’re not going to go do something stupid to try to get into the playoffs next year that then will prevent us from competing for a championship in a couple years. I’m the lucky person that gets to be the steward of the team for the city of Houston and the millions of people that live here, and my goal is to compete for a championship as many years as possible.

Despite having the worst record, the Rockets have only a 52.1% shot of retaining their first-round pick in the NBA’s 2021 draft. If the draft lottery nets them the No. 5 pick, which has a 47.9% chance to occur, Oklahoma City will be able to swap Miami’s pick for the Houston selection.

If that’s the case, the Rockets might need to be bad again in 2021-22 — when there is no pick swap involved — in order to acquire a top rookie prospect to build around. Should that unfortunate scenario become reality, it doesn’t seem that Fertitta will stand in their way.

Related

Report: Tilman Fertitta vows to stay out of Rockets' rebuilding plan

Tilman Fertitta: Absence of fans lessens impact of Rockets' lost season

List

NBA draft lottery history: How the Houston Rockets have fared