Rockets star Christian Wood on Stephen Silas: ‘I came here for him’

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Ben DuBose
·2 min read
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Shortly after Houston snapped its historic 20-game losing streak with Monday’s victory over Toronto, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas gained a strong endorsement from rising star Christian Wood.

Wood chose to join Houston in the NBA’s 2020 free agency, despite known trade requests (at the time) from superstars James Harden and Russell Westbrook. So, why did Wood want to go to a team potentially heading down a rebuilding path? His relationship with Silas was key.

Wood and Silas crossed paths in the 2016-17 season, when Silas was an assistant coach in Charlotte and Wood was a second-year big man looking to earn his first real NBA opportunity. While Wood didn’t play much with the Hornets, his time with Silas clearly made an impression.

After Monday’s win, which came one day after Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma City, here’s what Wood said about Silas:

My relationship with Stephen is, I came here for him. He brought me in. To speak on yesterday, you never want to see a head coach like that. I’d rather see my head coach, how his face was today after this win, than how it was yesterday. I’m happy to see that.

Me and Coach have always had a relationship, in terms of trusting each other on the court and off the court. So, it was a good win for us. It helped his spirit, and it helped mine as well. We’ve just got to keep it up.

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Though this season’s Rockets (12-30) have been a disappointment relative to preseason hopes, the trade demands and injuries that largely derailed their 2020-21 season were out of Silas’ control.

Thus, even as some speculate about his job security, the organization continues to express strong confidence that he’s the right guy for the job. An endorsement from the team’s best player doesn’t hurt, either.

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