Stephen Silas’ body language said it all.
Even with the Houston Rockets coach wearing a mask, he could not hide his dejection after the Rockets lost their 20th straight game Sunday.
Asked after the team’s loss to the Thunder if the Rockets were feeling the weight of all the losses, Silas wiped his hand across his forehead and took about 10 seconds to respond.
“Yeah,” a crestfallen Silas replied.
Silas finally earned his first NBA head coaching job during the offseason after 20 years as an assistant coach or scout for six different franchises.
What seemed like one of the more desirable coaching situations in basketball quickly deteriorated. The Rockets, under new general manager Rafael Stone, traded Russell Westbrook to the WIzards for John Wall in December after Westbrook expressed he wanted out of town.
James Harden made a trade request of his own, and after showing up to camp late and playing eight games for the Rockets, they traded him to the Nets in a blockbuster four-team deal that saw Houston get Victor Oladipo.
Just like that, the Rockets’ two NBA MVPs were gone. And though a team with Wall and Oladipo could compete, Houston went from 11-10 to 11-30, the NBA’s second-worst record entering Monday.
“We have no choice but to pick up and try hard and learn and grow, and it starts with me,” Silas said.