The Houston Rockets have already begun training ahead of the 2020-21 season and are set to play their first pre-season game on Friday against the Chicago Bulls. But it looks like they would have taken the floor that night without that star man James Horton.
He is not yet in town and new coach Stephen Silas does not know when he will arrive. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Silas noted that the fact that Horton has not yet arrived is a “setback”.
“Oh, yes, as far as the schedule is concerned, there is no timetable as far as I know,” Silas said. “This is a setback. You know, you want your best player to be here, and, there’s a short window, as you mentioned … I mean, to be honest, I need to understand that this is not one of the best players here in the NBA. A setback. But I work with the guys here, we work hard, we do a good job. “
Videos of Horton partying across the country over the past few days have been shared remotely on social media, most recently on Monday morning, when he was spotted at a Las Vegas nightclub. He has also posted secret messages on social media including the Instagram story of a bad emoji.
Asked if Horton was sending any kind of message, Silas said he knew nothing but that Hilton was not there.
“There’s no clarity about the message, honestly,” Silas said. “I take it – basically at face value – that he’s not here and that’s the reason for that. He’s the one who can explain why and why not – he’s not here. (He) is not here, he has a reason, but we have to tell anyone (from the rockets) what his reason is. “
None of that was encouraging, and even worse, the Rockets were expecting Horton to be in camp now, and there was a “surprise” he didn’t get this weekend. However, they still plan to start the season with him on the list, According to athlete Sam Amic:
The Rockets were certainly expecting Horton to report over the weekend and go to work (the league will be wiped out after passing the COVID-19 protocol). Like everyone else they were surprised to see this.
Anyone wondering if Horton has told team officials he has no plans to wear a rocket jersey this season – or, perhaps, again – sources say it is not. There is no such announcement, he has plans to adapt to rockets this season.
At this point, the Rockets’ cause a big mess in their hands. Horton is said to have been heard recently last month, and now it appears the team should be somewhere other than comfortable. But if there are no changes, there are no contracts now, it means the Rockets will get anything close to equal value to one of the best players in the league.
With Horton on contract for the next two seasons, their plan seems to hold him back, and they believe the restored list will be enough to keep him afloat. On paper, that would be the right move. But what if he never showed up? Or ultimately reports, but it makes the situation unacceptable. What then?
Apparently, Rockets and Horton blame themselves only partially, but admitting past mistakes does not make the present easier. For now, it remains to be seen how things will work out, but the chances of rescuing this relationship are slim and low.