The Houston Rockets did the right thing and hired Steven Silas, the best man for the job. Not only was he responsible for the emergence of Luka Doncic while on staff for the Dallas Mavericks this past season, he’s considered an offensive innovator and reportedly has the full support of the players in the locker room.
Rockets had moved increasingly— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 28, 2020
toward Silas over the weekend and in the days since; had a Zoom call with many players last night, a key last step to feel as if all were on board with the decision, a source said. https://t.co/foOg7N1If3
But being that he’s a first-time head coach, it’s important that the Houston front office surrounds him with capable assistant coaches, and it appears they are doing just that.
First, it’s being reported that former Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan could join the staff. According to Marc Stein, he’s deciding between two teams.
Along with the Houston Rockets, league sources say that the Atlanta Hawks have emerged as a potential landing spot for former Pacers coach Nate McMillan— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 31, 2020
In his coaching career, the former player has also served as head coach of the Seattle Supersonics and Portland Trail Blazers in addition to Indiana, where he holds an all-time record of 661-588 (.529). His teams have made the postseason nine times, while only making it out of the first round once.
The former steals leader in 1994 and two-time All-Defensive Team selection would bring defensive acumen to the Rockets, while Silas coordinates the offense. He would be a phenomenal hire as an assistant.
In addition, the Rockets are also talking with Jeff Hornacek about coming aboard as an assistant. This former Rockets rival played for the Utah Jazz in the mid-’90s and was actually one of my personal most hated players of all-time. The three-point specialist annoyed the hell out of me with his Jerry Sloan-inspired dirty play, but there was no denying his abilities as a shooter.
Following his career as a player, he then went on to work as an assistant coach for the Jazz before eventually serving as a head coach for the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. He holds just a 161-216 career record and never made the playoffs working for those two moribund franchises. I wouldn’t want him as a head coach, but he’d be a fine addition as an assistant.
Other potential assistants being considered are John Lucas, who was serving on former Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni’s staff as the head of player development and who was also considered one of the three finalists for the job eventually given to Silas, and a new surprise name has also emerged as a potential hire.
Former Rockets point guard and street ball superstar Rafer Alston has expressed interest in joining Silas’ staff.
Former NBA guard Rafer Alston told The Athletic that he is seriously interested in coaching in the NBA and joining Houston’s coaching staff in particular.— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) October 28, 2020
Alston played for the Rockets from 2005-2009 and had an 11-year career in the Association before capping off his playing days in China. He averaged 10.1 points and 4.8 assists per game for his career, and I think he’s be a good addition to help coach Houston’s guard-heavy roster and also to learn the ropes from Silas, who also specializes in guard play.
That’s a nice lineup of potential assistants, and we’ll update you as soon as the Rockets make a hire.