US basketball

Former NBA champion player, coach Paul Silas dies at 79

Former NBA champion player, coach Paul Silas dies at 79

LOVE FOR THE GAME. Paul Silas stayed in the NBA as player and coach for nearly five decades.

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Paul Silas won championships with the Celtics and the Sonics as a player and notably served as LeBron James' first NBA coach with the Cavaliers

Former NBA player and head coach Paul Silas has died at 79, multiple outlets reported Sunday, December 11.

Silas was a two-time All-Star, a three-time NBA champion, and a five-time All-Defensive Team selection during a 16-year career with five teams from 1964-80.

He compiled a 387-488 record as a head coach with four teams, notably serving as LeBron James’ first NBA coach in 2003-04 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

His son, Stephen, is the current head coach of the Houston Rockets.

Silas starred collegiately at Creighton, averaging more than 20 rebounds per game in all three of his seasons from 1961-64. The school retired his No. 35 jersey.

Drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Hawks in 1964, he averaged 9.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 1,254 games with St. Louis/Atlanta (1964-69), the Phoenix Suns (1969-72), Boston Celtics (1972-76), Denver Nuggets (1976-77) and Seattle SuperSonics (1977-80).

Silas made the All-Star team in 1971-72 and 1974-75 and won championships with the Celtics (1973-74, 1975-76) and Sonics (1978-79).

He coached the San Diego Clippers (1980-83), the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets (1999-2003), Cavaliers (2003-05), and Charlotte Bobcats (2010-12). –

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