The Houston Rockets hired Stephen Silas for his first head coaching job in the NBA. Stephen, the son of former NBA player and head coach Paul Silas, becomes one half of the fifth father/son coaching duo in NBA history.

Stephen Silas NBA Houston Rockets Paul father/son coaching duo
Stephen Silas becomes the next head coach of the Houston Rockets and part of the fifth father/son coaching duo in NBA history. (Image: Porter Lambert/Getty)

Silas graduated from Brown University and played basketball for all four seasons he spent in Providence. He lacked the talent to play pro ball, but he put his Ivy League education to work in the NBA as a scout and assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets.

The elder Silas (Paul), spent 16 seasons as an NBA player and won three titles (two with the late 1970s Seattle Supersonics) before pivoting to coaching. Paul Silas got his first head coaching job with the Charlotte Hornets in 1999. He also coached the team when it moved to New Orleans. In addition, he spent time coaching the Cleveland Cavs, and last coached the Charlotte Bobcats in 2012. Paul went 287-488 before he retired at the end of the 2012 season.

The younger Silas got his break with the Charlotte Hornets thanks to his father. In the last two decades, Silas also worked as an assistant with Golden State, the Cavaliers, and the Hornets. He most recently worked as an assistant under Rick Carlisle on the Dallas Mavericks staff. Silas got accolades for helping develop Luka Doncic.

According to a recent update by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the Houston Rockets are 25/1 odds to win the 2021 NBA Championship.

D’Antoni Dunzo

Mike D’Antoni decided he needed a change of pace and didn’t renew his contract with the Rockets. D’Antoni coached the Rockets to four consecutive winning seasons, including three-straight NBA Southwest division titles.

Despite a 318-217 record with the Rockets, and a .682 winning percentage spanning four seasons, D’Antoni couldn’t get the Rockets over the hump in the postseason. In all four seasons under D’Antoni, the Rockets were eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Golden State Warriors knocked them out three years in a row before they were eliminated by LeBron James and the LA Lakers in five games.

It’s now up to Stephen Silas to achieve what D’Antoni could not … getting the Rockets into the Western Conference Finals for a shot at a berth in the NBA Finals.

Ever since Rudy Tomjanovich (900 wins and two championships in the mid-1990s) stepped down in 2003, the Rockets have been chasing the elusive title. Five other coaches tried, but they all fell short, including Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman, Kevin McHale, JB Bickerstaff, and D’Antoni.

Rumors suggested that Van Gundy would return to the Rockets for his second stint in Houston. Instead, the Rockets opted for a younger coach and gave Silas his first shot at a head coaching job.

Like Father, Like Son

Silas is one of four current father/son coaching duos in the NBA. Overall, five father/son combinations were head coaches.

Mike Malone guided the Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals. Out of all of the duos, Mike has the most wins out of the other four, second-generation of coaches.

Mike’s father, Brendan, spent numerous years as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks. Brendan was the first head coach of the Toronto Raptors when they joined the league as an expansion team in 1995.

Paul Silas Stephen Silas
Bernie Bickerstaff JB Bickerstaff
Flip Saunders Ryan Saunders
Bill Musselman Eric Musselman
Brendan Malone Michael Malone

The Saunders clan holds the record for most wins by a father/son combination with 690 victories. Flip Saunders went 654-592 during his 17-year career that began with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995. He also coached the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. Eric Musselman currently coaches the Minnesota Timberwolves. When he first took over in place of Tom Thibodeau, Eric (at 33) was the youngest head coach in the NBA. He’s about to inherit the #1 pick in the NBA Draft.

Bernie Bickerstaff (Seattle Supersonics, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats) and his son JB combined for 509 wins, the second-most for any father/son duo in NBA history. JB Bickerstaff (Memphis Grizzlies) became the interim head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers when John Beilein resigned. The Cavs made JB Bickerstaff the full-time coach for next season.

Bill Musselman coached in the NCAA, CBA, and NBA (Cleveland Cavs, Minnesota Timberwolves). His son, Eric, coached the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings before he returned to the collegiate ranks. He found success with the Nevada Wolfpack and currently coaches Arkansas.

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