Midway through a matchup between the Rockets and Nuggets, tensions swelled within Houston’s locker room, as Rockets assistant coach John Lucas and guard Kevin Porter Jr. got into an altercation — which escalated to Porter leaving the venue and missing the second half of the contest.
News of the altercation was announced by The Athletic / Stadium’s Shams Charania, also detailing that Rockets teammate Christian Wood — also involved — told the coaching staff that he refused to sub into the game for the third and fourth quarters following the incident.
Full details on events involving Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. and center Christian Wood after assistant coach John Lucas calls out players: https://t.co/XC1bH6FHN8
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 2, 2022
The report notes that Wood had been omitted from Houston’s rotation for the Denver matchup after missing a requisite COVID test. Wood was allegedly reprimanded by Lucas during the halftime speech, where the assistant coach also called out Porter’s lack of effort.
Porter threw an object during the scene, retreated to his car and left the Toyota Center’s premises. The Rockets went on to lose against Denver, 124-111, stretching their losing skid to seven games (10-27). Houston’s last win came against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 13.
Per Hoops Wire‘s Sam Amico, the Rockets exercised Porter’s fourth-year option back in November — 10 months after acquiring the guard from the Cavaliers.
A locker room incident in Cleveland led to friction between Porter and the team’s brass, ultimately enabling Cavs general manager Koby Altman to ship him off to Houston days after the scene.
Amico notes: “Porter, 21, is 6-foot-4 and was acquired by the Rockets in a trade with the Cavs last season. He averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 26 games with the Rockets.”
This season, Porter averages 12.8 points, 5.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds on 29.8 minutes a game.