A massive half-time breakup by the Houston Rockets reportedly resulted in two players refusing to play in the second half, with one of them leaving Toyota Center entirely.
Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. also reportedly “threw an object” during the altercation before leaving the arena during Saturday’s 124-111 defeat to the Denver Nuggets.
According to separate reports of ESPN And Atletico, Porter Jr. lost his temper after becoming angry when assistant manager John Lucas challenged him and other players for their efforts during the first half. Porter Jr. had lost his cool on the bench during the first half, sources said, when he was challenged on the same issue.
Another player challenged during the difficult changing room was Christian Wood, who averaged 17.3 points and 10.6 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game on entering Saturday.
Wood played eight minutes without goals in the first half (with a single rebound), during which Houston was surpassed by 17 points, and did not play in the second half despite being on the bench for the Rockets.
“Coach’s decision,” said Stephen Silas, regarding Wood sitting outside the second half, but Shams Charania of Atletico reported that the center “refused to substitute in play in the second half”, which contradicts the coach’s comments.
Sources: After Rockets assistant John Lucas called more players including Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood at half-time against the Nuggets tonight, Porter had a heated trade with Lucas, threw an item, and promptly quit. arena – and Wood refused to take over in second place. half.
– Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 2, 2022
Wood was not a starter for the first time in 76 games and Rockets manager Silas confirmed he was punished for breaking team rules.
“Basically we’re going to keep him on the inside,” Silas said post-game about the situation with Wood. “But he broke a team rule, I didn’t start him and I decided not to play him in the second half.”
According to a previous report by Shams Charania’s Atletico, Wood was benched after missing a mandatory Covid-19 test window and refused to substitute in the game in the second half.
Manager Silas declined to mention Porter Jr. specifically after the game, but said, “I have some requests from this team regarding tough play. I wasn’t happy with the effort.”
The Rockets announced during the second half that Porter Jr. was questionable for the return due to the evaluation of his left thigh, but although he was plagued with a bruise on his left thigh, that was not the issue that led to his absence. after the intermission, he reported ESPN. A Rockets source said Atletico after Porter Jr. had been in contact to apologize to the team for the overreaction.
Houston is now 10-27 and has lost seven in a row. The Rockets have struggled hard since James Harden forced a swap last year and there may be more roster abandonment before the current team rebuild is completed, especially if this latest crash is anything to build upon.