Paul Silas, a member of three NBA championship teams and LeBron James’ first coach in the league, has died. Check out what happened to him.
Paul Silas : What happened to | Coaching record
Silas attended Creighton University, where he set an NCAA record for the most rebounds in three seasons and averaged an NCAA leading 20.6 rebounds per game in the 1962–63 season.
His career scoring average was over 20 points per game.
Silas was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in the second round of the 1964 draft. After a relatively slow career start, Silas reached double figures in both rebounds and points per game during the 1967–68 season, in which he averaged 11.7 rebounds per game and 13.4 points per game. His rebounding average was third best on the Hawks that season, behind teammates Zelmo Beaty (11.7 rpg) and Bill Bridges (13.4 rpg).
After five seasons with the Hawks, Silas was traded to the Phoenix Suns for Gary Gregor, who had been named to the 1969 NBA All-Rookie Team.
What happened to Paul Silas
A legendary NBA star and former head coach reportedly died on Sunday morning.
According to longtime Boston Celtics insider Bob Ryan, legendary NBA figure Paul Silas has died at the age of 79 years old.
“I am very sad to report that the Great Paul Silas has died at age 79. To watch him play was a joy. To be his friend was an honor,” he reported on Sunday morning.
“Paul was an incredible leader and motivator who served as our head coach on two occasions,” Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan said in a statement. “He combined the knowledge developed over nearly 40 years as an NBA player and coach with an innate understanding of how to mix discipline with his never-ending positivity. On or off the court, Paul’s enthusiastic and engaging personality was accompanied by an anecdote for every occasion. He was one of the all-time great people in our game, and he will be missed.”
“He had never been to my house at that point,” Shinn said, “and suddenly I peeked outside and there was this mountain of a man coming to the front door. It was Paul. It made me really nervous. But I went to the door, and he couldn’t have been sweeter. Paul said, ‘I want you to know everything is fine with me. I don’t agree with you, but I understand this happens sometimes in the NBA, and I want you to know I still love you.’ ”
Wrote basketball great Magic Johnson on Twitter: “Paul made a huge contribution to the game of basketball and will be sorely missed!”
Our thoughts are with Silas’ friends and family members during this tragic time on Sunday morning. May he rest in peace.
Immediately upon retirement, Silas started his coaching career with the San Diego Clippers from 1980 to 1983, becoming their head coach, compiling a 78-168 record for a team that struggled with injuries to stars including Bill Walton.
|Career highlights and awards|
After joining the coaching staff of the Charlotte Hornets in 1997, Silas was finally given another chance as a coach after becoming the interim coach of the Hornets when Dave Cowens was fired after a 4-11 record.
Under Silas, the Hornets turned it around and went 22-13 to finish the lockout-shortened season 26-24, missing the playoffs by one game.
Silas had the interim tag lifted off of his status and became the full-time head coach of the Hornets from 1999 all the way into their first season where they moved to New Orleans.
Coaching the team from 1999 to 2003, Silas had a 208-155 record, taking the team into the playoffs each season he was the head coach after that 1999 season, including two Eastern Conference Semifinals appearances.
Silas had a reputation of being a coach who was very honest but fair with his criticism of his players, which they mostly appreciated.
Silas was fired as coach on May 4, 2003, in a move that puzzled many Hornets players (including Baron Davis) who enjoyed playing for him.
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