Rockets’ Stephen Silas Opens up on Relationship with James Harden and Russell Westbrook

Published 01/14/2021, 11:08 PM EST
Jan 12, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and head coach Stephen Silas (right) react after a play during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


The Houston Rockets are heading into a new direction. After a poor 2020 postseason, they made a lot of changes on each front in the organization. From changing things in the front office to trading their two superstars, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Rockets are looking for a complete revamp.

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One of the big managerial changes was to hire Stephen Silas as their new head coach. Although Mike D’Antoni is one of the biggest names in the league, his tactics failed for the Rockets during crucial times. Moving forward, it’ll be exciting to see how Silas handles the James Harden-less Rockets.

Stephen Silas talks about James Harden and Russell Westbrook

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LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 06: James Harden #13 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets talk during the first half against Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 6, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

In modern NBA, star players have a huge role in making key decisions for the franchise. If it wasn’t for the approval of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, Houston couldn’t have hired Silas. The Rockets coach talked about the same in a recent interview. He said:

“Those are the guys who vouched for me to get the job.”

At the time, the two superstars agreed to Silas’ hiring. But things changed pretty quickly as both of them requested a trade in the offseason. While Westbrook’s trade request was fulfilled instantly, the same can’t be said for the ‘Beard.’

However, Silas maintained that his relationship with Harden was rock-solid despite the recent controversy.

The relationship I had with [James Harden] was good. We had some good conversations over the last few days…We texted back-and-forth after the [trade] happened.”

With both Harden and Westbrook gone, the Rockets have handed the keys of the franchise to John Wall. But can Wall change things in H-Town? That remains the biggest question moving forward this season.

Can John Wall bring success for the Houston Rockets?

Jan 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets controls the ball against Buddy Hield #24 of the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter of a game at Toyota Center on January 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to joining the Rockets, Wall was going through a hard time. He missed almost 2 whole calendar years due to recurring injury issues. However, since joining Houston, Wall has looked in a phenomenal touch.

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With Harden gone, Wall would need someone to back him up on the offensive side of things. To that end, the franchise replaced Harden with Victor Oladipo, who is a fabulous player in his own right.

However, looking at the current competition in the Western Conference, it seems highly unlikely that the Rockets can make it all the way to the NBA Finals.

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What are your thoughts on the new Houston Rockets? Can the Wall-Oladipo duo accomplish what Harden couldn’t in 8 years? Share your views in the comments section below.

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Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

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