Brian Windhorst

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst published a story on Tuesday about the Houston Rockets, which included an anecdote about head coach Stephen Silas breaking down in tears over his inability to reach his players. By Tuesday evening, the article included a correction regarding that anecdote and Windhorst issued an apology on social media after “confusing details” from a 2021 press conference.

Here’s how the passage read originally in the ESPN Insider piece.

“It was a rare bright spot in a first season that has been light on wins. Houston lost 18 of 19 games at one point and 11 straight games during another stretch. At one point, Silas broke down in tears after a game because he felt he couldn’t reach his players. One of the team’s then veterans, Eric Gordon, said in January ‘there’s no improvement’ when summing up the state of the Rockets — not ideal for a young player trying to find positivity in early struggles.”

That anecdote was apparently not true and was based on a misremembering of a different press conference from 2021. An Editor’s Note was added to the top of the article after the passage was removed.

Editor’s note: A line in today’s story about Rockets coach Stephen Silas breaking down in tears after a game this season was inaccurate. Silas got emotional at a news conference in 2021. … A stat for Jabari Smith Jr. has been corrected; he’s averaging 14.6 points per game on 47% shooting over his past 17 games.

Windhorst also took to social media to issue an apology for the error.

“I regretfully made a mistake in today’s story about Stephen Silas breaking down in tears after a game this season,” wrote Windhorst. “It was inaccurate, I confused details from an emotional news conference in 2021.”

As noted in the Editor’s Note, Windhorst’s article originally said that Smith Jr. was averaging 25 points per game on 45% shooting in his last 17 games. That was later amended to the correct numbers, 14.6 points per game on 47% shooting over that time.

The Houston Rockets are indeed having a pretty rough NBA season, currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference with an 18-58 record.

Good on Windhorst for owning the errors and issuing a very public apology for them. However, it does call into question how the Insider piece was posted with two glaring errors like that in the first place.

[ESPN/Brian Windhorst, ClutchPoints]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.