(WGHP) — Former NBA player and longtime Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats coach Paul Silas has died at the age of 79, according to the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan.
Hornets fall at home to Knicks, 121-102
Silas starred in the NBA for 16 seasons, making a pair of All-Star appearances in 1972 and in 1975.
Silas was renowned for being a tenacious rebounder, despite standing at only 6’7″. He averaged nearly 10 rebounds a game for his career. He is also a member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Silas is perhaps best known for the 12 seasons he spent as an NBA head coach with the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats.
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Silas spent six of those head coaching seasons behind the bench in Charlotte, first for the Hornets franchise where spent three seasons as an assistant from 1997-1999 before beginning a four-year tenure as head coach after taking over for Dave Cowens after a disappointing 4-11 start in 1999 lockout-shortened season.
Silas turned the season around going 22-13 and helping the Hornets finish with a winning 26-24 record which put them just shy of the playoffs.
Silas then proceeded to lead the team on one of its more consistent stretches in franchise history with three consecutive playoff berths in three seasons before the team moved to New Orleans in 2002.
Silas led the team to a fourth consecutive playoff appearance in his lone season in New Orleans before moving on to Cleveland to coach the Cavaliers and their new rookie superstar LeBron James in 2003. He coached the Cavaliers for two seasons before stepping away from the game for an extended period of time.
Silas returned to coaching and the city of Charlotte in 2010 when he took over as head coach for the Charlotte Bobcats. He stayed with the team for the next two seasons before retiring from coaching finishing his career with the second-most wins of any Charlotte coach.
Silas’ son Stephen was an assistant with him in Charlotte and is now currently the head coach of the Houston Rockets.