NBA coach Paul Silas dead at 79, Houston Rockets say

The family revealed the death through the Houston Rockets, for whom Silas’ son, Stephen, was the second-generation head coach.

BOSTON — Paul Silas, a member of three NBA championship teams as a player and LeBron James’ first coach in the league, has died, his family announced on Sunday. He was 79.

The family revealed about the death via Houston Rockets, whose son, Stephen, is the second-generation head coach. The Boston Globe first reported on Silas’ death and no official cause was immediately released.

“Our sincere thoughts are with Stephen and his family during this difficult time,” the Rockets said in a statement.

Paul Silas began his career as a head coach with three years at the helm of the then San Diego Clippers beginning in 1980. After more than a decade as an assistant, he returned as head coach and spend time with the Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Charlotte Bobcats.

He got four of those teams into the knockout stages, winning exactly 400 games – 387 in the regular season, 13 more in the post-season.

“Paul made a huge contribution to basketball and will be greatly missed!” Hall of Fame and great Los Angeles Lakers defender Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter.

The Rockets play host Milwaukee on Sunday night. It is not clear how long Stephen Silas will be away from the team; The Rockets plan to let John Lucas lead the team temporarily while the Silas family grieve.

Stephen Silas entered the NBA world while his father was coaching in Charlotte, starting as a senior scout and eventually working as an assistant to his father’s team with the Hornets in 2000. Stephen Silas has lost two decade for a chance to be at the top. coach, that will happen when Houston hires him in 2020.

“Obviously, my dad is my #1 mentor, someone I can lean on, ask questions, and he questions me,” Stephen Silas said in a 2021 documentary produced by the Rockets. about his training journey. “He really takes my opinion seriously, which is a bit weird for me, I’m so young and don’t have much experience.”

Stephen Silas persisted for a long time before he got his big chance. He found his father also waited a long time to get the job he wanted. Paul Silas was fired by the San Diego Clippers in 1983 and wouldn’t have a chance to head coach again until 1999 – when Dave Cowens, to whom Paul Silas worked as an assistant, resigned in Charlotte after a 4-11 start in the game. shortened the 1998-99 season.

“I’m known as a not-so-hard, hard-working person and it really broke my heart as an assistant coach, for about 10 years, when I couldn’t get a full-time job. ,” Paul Silas told the Rotary Club of Charlotte while giving a speech there in 2013. “I actually talked to the teams about being head coach, but I didn’t get it. What happened is that I remain positive. I had a positive attitude. Even though I couldn’t get the job, I said, ‘No, I won’t be negative. I will be positive.’”

Eventually, Silas will take over in Cleveland. He got there in 2003, the same year the Cavaliers recruited James.

“I coached LeBron for two years, his first two years, and LeBron was incredible,” says Paul Silas. don’t even know. And he understands the game. I gave LeBron a point/striker because I didn’t have any when he first started. He didn’t say a word to me. He continued the game and we did well.”

In time, James will become a champion. It also took Paul Silas a few years to get to that level as a player.

He was selected to the All-Defensive team five times, who averaged 9.4 points and 9.9 rebounds in 16 seasons with the St. Louis and the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix, Boston, Denver and Seattle. Silas won two titles with the Celtics – the first came in his 10th season as a player – and won a third with the SuperSonics. He averaged 12.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in the 1976 Finals for Boston against the Suns.

“Paul Silas is a giant in basketball,” former NBA player Rex Chapman wrote Sunday on Twitter. “A wonderful man. It was a blessing to spend a few seasons with Paul when he was the (assistant) coach of the Suns. I don’t know of anyone who badmouths him – never. A sad day.”

Paul Silas played his college basketball at Creighton, averaging 20.5 points and 21.6 rebounds over three seasons. He was elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Bluejays coach Greg McDermott said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Creighton legend Paul Silas. His illustrious career as a player and coach will be matched by few.” NBA coach Paul Silas dead at 79, Houston Rockets say

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