On Saturday night the Houston Rockets were handed their 7th straight loss as they succumbed to the Denver Nuggets 124-111.
By halftime the Rockets trailed by double digits 77- 55. However, the game wasn’t the only thing that was lost that night. It would turn out that a few tempers were lost in the locker room in what head coach Stephen Silas would later describe as a “spirited debate.”
“We had a spirited debate,” Silas said postgame. “I have certain demands of this team as far as playing hard. … I wasn’t satisfied with the effort.”
The debate was so spirited that the Rockets returned to the court with mere moments to spare before the 3rd quarter began.
It was later determined that a part of that spirited discussion involved Kevin Porter Jr. and assistant coach John Lucas going back and forth about behavior that took place on the bench during the game. Tempers flared and though there was an announcement that Porter would not be returning to the game because of a thigh issue, it was later determined that he left the Toyota Center.
Key player Christian Wood broke a team rule and did not start on Saturday’s game. He ended up only playing eight minutes during the first half and would not return to play during the second half. It was reported that Wood refused to play but Silas said it was a “coach’s decision.”
Silas skirted around the situation with Porter by not mentioning him at all in his post-game presser.
He formally addressed the situation on Monday ahead of the Rockets matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. He began by explaining that Porter and Woods are “very different circumstances” that are “kinda being lumped together” due to them happening in the same game.
“He [Porter] lost his temper at halftime to the point where I thought what would be best for the team, best for our culture as a group.” Silas explained, “Just making sure that everybody is on the same page, I thought it would be best for him to be suspended for today’s game.”
“Christian, we had a disagreement as far as him going back into the game in the second half. I decided it would be best for the team,” Silas said. “It’s very much attached to accountability for everybody on our team and it’s my job to hold people accountable to their actions and not overreact at all but react appropriately so that was the decision.”
Silas went on to say, “One thing about disputes, you always come out of them with a better understanding of each other.”
Both players, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood, were suspended for Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers
“With what happened, hopefully everybody grows from it.” Silas explained. “And maybe it doesn’t happen immediately; hopefully it does. I know everybody in the locker room and those guys involved know where I stand, know what lines can be crossed and what lines can’t and we move, we move on.”
“As far as what the future looks like, it’s hard for me to say.”
Silas said finally, concerning Porter, “He is emotional, he’s a competitor, he’s a good kid. He owns up to his mistakes when he makes them and tries not to make mistakes again. That’s pretty much all you can ask for from a guy. So, yeah, we put a lot into him and we knew that he had a past before he came here but you know we hold everybody accountable to what they do. He crossed the line and he’ll be back. We’ll still love him. We’ll still grow with him. He’ll be okay.”