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“We were going to build around Porter and Green. That made it hard for John” - Stephen Silas responds to John Wall criticizing the Houston Rockets

Rockets head coach also defended his two young stars after Wall called them out for the way they play.
March 22, 2021; Houston Rockets guard John Wall speaks to head coach Stephen Silas at Toyota Center

John Wall, Stephen Silas

Last week, John Wall opened up about his tenure with the Houston Rockets, which caught the attention of many, including current Rockets head coach Stephen Silas. A few days after Wall’s quotes made their rounds, Silas finally responded and explained why the former All-Star (in his own words) revealed that his time in Houston was trash.

According to Silas, Wall felt that way because his goals didn’t align with what the Rockets organization wanted to prioritize. The head coach didn’t hesitate to admit that it wasn’t the perfect situation for Wall to revive his career because the Rockets' management wanted to develop Kevin Porter and Jalen Green as they are currently rebuilding the post-James Harden era.

"It wasn’t a perfect situation for anybody. There were some things that obviously at the beginning of the season when we decided as an organization we were going to rebuild and build around (Porter) and (Green) as our starting two guards, that made it hard for John. And the conversations I had with John about possibly coming off the bench or being around and being supportive, they were difficult conversations,” Silas said in his appearance on SportsTalk 790.

Looking at it from both sides

It’s hard to blame both the Rockets organization and Wall for not being aligned in terms of their goals and visions. 

Wall was coming off a brutal Achilles injury he suffered in 2019, so it made a lot of sense why he wanted to bounce back during his time with the Rockets, especially since that’s where he was traded to by the Washington Wizards — the team that drafted him overall in 2010.

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As for the Rockets, they needed to recover from the loss of Harden, who gave up on the team and demanded a trade in 2021. Since they ended their partnership with The Beard, it only made sense that they turned their focus on developing their potential franchise cornerstones as they gained multiple draft picks and assets after letting Harden go.

“But the ultimate decision was that he was going to be here; he was going to work out. He wasn’t going to practice with the team because, you know, the practice time was the most important thing for those young guards,” Silas added.

Silas disputes Wall’s comment about Green and Porter

What was striking about Wall’s interview was that he publicly called out Green and Porter for their behavior and for getting used to losing during their time together. The 2020-2021 tanking Rockets finished the season dead last in the Western Conference standings with a 17-55 record. They didn’t win a lot of games, and according to Wall, that would’ve been unacceptable if they were on a different team.

Silas defended his two young guys by saying that it’s hard to blame his rebuilding team because, after all, they’re young, and inconsistency is to be expected.

“ …. We’re a young team; we have 19- and 20-, 21-year-old guys who emotionally they go up and down, and with their games, there is going to be inconsistency,” Silas said.

Ultimately, the timing of Wall and the Rockets just didn’t align. He only played in 40 games during his first season with the team and eventually decided to sit out the season the following year as the Rockets tried to find a trade partner for his contract. 

Houston ended up buying Wall out, as the latter now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers — where his actual goals align with the organization trying to compete for a championship.

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