Paul Silas

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Paul Silas
Paul Silas 1977 press photo by Seattle SuperSonics.jpg
Paul Silas with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1977
Personal information
Born (1943-07-12) July 12, 1943 (age 76)
Prescott, Arkansas
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school McClymonds (Oakland, California)
College Creighton (1961–1964)
NBA draft 1964 / Round: 2 / Pick: 10th overall
Selected by the St. Louis Hawks
Playing career1964–1980
Position Power forward / Small forward
Number29, 12, 35, 36
Coaching career1980–2012
Career history
As player:
19641969 St. Louis / Atlanta Hawks
19691972 Phoenix Suns
19721976 Boston Celtics
1976–1977 Denver Nuggets
19771980 Seattle SuperSonics
As coach:
19801983 San Diego Clippers
1988–1989 New Jersey Nets (assistant)
19891992 New York Knicks (assistant)
19921995 New Jersey Nets (assistant)
19951997 Phoenix Suns (assistant)
19971999 Charlotte Hornets (assistant)
19992002 Charlotte Hornets
2002–2003 New Orleans Hornets
20032005 Cleveland Cavaliers
20102012 Charlotte Bobcats
Career highlights and awards
Career playing statistics
Points 11,782 (9.4 ppg)
Rebounds 12,357 (9.9 rpg)
Assists 2,572 (2.1 apg)
Stats at
Career coaching record
NBA387–488 (.442)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2017

Paul Theron Silas (born July 12, 1943) is an American retired professional basketball player and former NBA head coach.


Playing career

Born in Prescott, Arkansas, [1] Silas attended Creighton University, where he set an NCAA record for the most rebounds in three seasons and averaged 20.6 rebounds per game in 1963. In the NBA, Silas collected more than 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds during his sixteen-year career, played in two All-Star games, and won three championship rings (two with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976, and one with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979). He was named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team twice, and to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team three times.

Coaching career

Immediately upon retirement, Silas started his coaching career with the San Diego Clippers from 1980-83, becoming their head coach, compiling a 78-168 record for a team that struggled with injuries to stars including Bill Walton. After taking time off, Silas was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets for one season from 1988-89, and then became an assistant coach with the New York Knicks from 1989-92 as one of the holdovers from the Stu Jackson and John Macleod eras. Silas then went back to work for the Nets as an assistant under Chuck Daly and later Butch Beard from 1992-95, leaving to work with the Suns from 1995-97. At one point, Silas was one of the names considered for the head coaching job of the Boston Celtics in the Summer of 1995 before General Manager M.L. Carr decided to name himself as coach of the team. [2]

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 1999-2003, 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. [3] 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. [4]

Silas was head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2003 to 2005. Hired to mentor LeBron James, his tenure was rife with controversy as he feuded with veteran point guard Eric Snow and new owner Dan Gilbert fired him in the middle of the season with the Cavaliers at 34-30 and fifth place in the Eastern Conference. [5] The Cavs would collapse after the firing of Silas and miss the playoffs that season due to a tiebreak with the New Jersey Nets.

Silas then worked for ESPN, although in April 2007, he interviewed for the vacant head coaching position with the Charlotte Bobcats (later known as the Charlotte Hornets) which was eventually filled by Sam Vincent. Upon the firing of Vincent in April 2008, he stated that coaching the Bobcats would be a "dream job." [6]

On December 22, 2010, Silas was named interim head coach of the Bobcats, replacing the outgoing coach Larry Brown. [7] On February 16, 2011, the Bobcats removed his interim status. [8]

On April 30, 2012, the Bobcats announced that Silas would not return to the Bobcats for the 20122013 season after producing the worst record in NBA history. [9] Because of the record transfer that occurred in 2014, Silas' tenure with the Bobcats is now recognized as his second tenure with the Charlotte Hornets, meaning that he had coached them for about six seasons with a record of 204–220. Also due to the record transfer, Silas was the first head coach in the history of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans franchise.

Head coaching record

Regular seasonGGames coachedWGames wonLGames lostW–L %Win–loss %
PlayoffsPGPlayoff gamesPWPlayoff winsPLPlayoff lossesPW–L %Playoff win–loss %
San Diego 1980–81 823646.4395th in PacificMissed Playoffs
San Diego 1981–82 821765.2076th in PacificMissed Playoffs
San Diego 1982–83 822557.3056th in PacificMissed Playoffs
Charlotte 1998–99 352213.6295th in CentralMissed Playoffs
Charlotte 1999–2000 824933.5982nd in Central413.250Lost in First Round
Charlotte 2000–01 824636.5613rd in Central1064.600Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Charlotte 2001–02 824438.5372nd in Central945.444Lost in Conf. Semifinals
New Orleans 2002–03 824735.5733rd in Central624.333Lost in First Round
Cleveland 2003–04 823547.4275th in CentralMissed Playoffs
Cleveland 2004–05 643430.531(fired)
Charlotte 2010–11 542529.4634th in SoutheastMissed Playoffs
Charlotte 2011–12 66759.1065th in SoutheastMissed Playoffs

See also

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  1. "2011-12 Bobcats Coaching Staff". Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  6. Silas says coaching Bobcats is a 'dream job' - Sports Rumors - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
  7. "Charlotte Bobcats name Paul Silas interim head coach". Archived from the original on January 2, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
  8. "Bobcats elevate Paul Silas to coach". February 16, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  9. "Paul Silas will not return as Bobcats head coach". April 30, 2012. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.