On Monday, the Houston Rockets (10-27) decided to suspend Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood ahead of their game against the 76ers (19-19).
Per ESPN, the Rockets are disciplining Porter Jr. and Wood for their behavior surrounding the team’s loss to the Nuggets on Saturday. Reports say that both Porter and Wood traveled with the Rockets to Philidelphia, but Coach Stephen Silas subsequently decided to sit both of them out for two separate incidents they were involved in.
Neither Porter nor Wood stepped foot on the court during the Rockets’ 124-111 loss to the Nuggets, which included Wood refusing to check in during the second half and Porter leaving the arena after assistant coach John Lucas was critical of Porters play, leading to a confrontation in the locker room, according to multiple reports.
According to ESPN, Wood was initially punished for failing to show up to daily COVID-19 testing, causing the team to delay their shootaround. Following his benching in the first half, Wood reportedly declined to check in during the second half when Silas called on him, which led to Silas moving on to players who would play.
As for Porter, multiple reports say the 21-year-old became angry in the locker room after Lucas reportedly brought up an issue that led to the third-year guard losing his cool on the bench during the first half. Furthermore, Lucas confronted Wood at halftime, and a young teammate called out Wood for not setting a standard for the team as a veteran in the locker room per ESPN. Silas called the incident a “spirited debate” but did not elaborate.
According to Kelly Ito of the Athletic, Porter apologized to his teammates following his premature departure from the arena. Porter and Wood will play again on Wednesday against the Wizards (18-18).
Per a team source, the Rockets have since spoken to Porter Jr. since the halftime incident and he’s apologetic for the overreaction. https://t.co/nogc86tcqq
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) January 2, 2022