CHARLOTTE — Paul Silas, a former head coach for the Charlotte Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats, has passed away at the age of 79, Channel 9′s partners at The Charlotte Observer are reporting.
After playing in the NBA himself for 16 years, Silas coached the Charlotte Hornets from 1998 to 2002, all of which were winning seasons.
Silas’ second stint as Charlotte’s head coach ended following the 2011-12 season.
Silas won three NBA championships as a player with Boston and Seattle. He logged almost 400 games in the NBA as a head coach. Stephen Silas, the son of Paul Silas, now coaches the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
Silas spent time back in the Queen City attending Hornets games. He also coached the Cleveland Cavaliers during the rookie year of LeBron James in 2003.
Silas was the last coach to lead the Charlotte Hornets to a playoff series win, which was in 2002.
Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan released a statement regarding Silas’ passing saying:
“Our Hornets family mourns the passing of Paul Silas. Paul was an incredible leader and motivator who served as our head coach on two occasions. 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. My thoughts, and the thoughts of our entire organization, are with his wife, Carolyn; his children, Paula and Stephen; and the entire Silas family.”
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