000 8U94BQ 1024x749 - Stephen Silas new Houston Rockets head coach
In this file photo taken on January 11, 2020, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks talks with assistant coach Stephen Silas at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

The Houston Rockets named Stephen Silas as the team’s new head coach on Friday, replacing Mike D’Antoni who left last month after the franchise’s latest post-season disappointment.

Silas, who has more than 20 years experience in the NBA as an assistant coach or scout, joins the Rockets after a two-year stint as part of Rick Carlisle’s coaching staff at the Dallas Mavericks.

The Rockets job is Silas’s first head coaching position.

“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 Fertitta. “Stephen is a basketball lifer who is highly regarded around the league.”

Rockets general manager Rafael Stone said Silas’s work with the Mavericks — who had the highest offensive rating in the NBA in 2019-2020 — had tipped the balance in his favour.

“The success coach Silas had with Dallas last season reinforced the notion that he is more than ready to lead his own team,” Stone said. 

“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.”

Silas is the son of three-time NBA champion Paul Silas, who coached in the league between 1980 and 2012 following his playing career.

“Basketball has been a huge part of my life since the day I was born and this is the moment I’ve strived for,” Stephen Silas said in a statement on Friday.

“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.”

Under D’Antoni, the Rockets were consistent Western Conference contenders, but were unable to reach the NBA Finals, losing in the conference semi-finals in 2017, 2019 and 2020. The team lost in the conference finals in 2018.

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