LeBron James’ former coach Paul Silas passed away recently at the age of 79. NBA fans might be aware that he was the King’s first coach during his initial days with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was all the way back in 2003 when LeBron first got drafted into the league.
Additionally, Paul’s son is also a coach in the NBA. Stephen Silas is a relatively new coach for the Houston Rockets. That said, there must be something about coaching that runs deep in the Silas family’s veins. We should want to know how good a coach Paul Silas was and what his relationship with LeBron James was like at the time. Moreover, understanding his personal life and accomplishments is also important.
Which teams did Paul Silas play for?
Paul Silas spent a significant amount of his life as a player in the NBA. In fact, he played in the league for 16 seasons. This is something that many NBA players are simply not capable of doing. Paul averaged 9.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists throughout his career.
RIP Paul Silas – beloved Celtic, beloved teammate, class act, huge part of Cowens/Hondo era, 2-time champ (then a 3rd in Seattle), played 16 yrs back when nobody played that long. My dad loved Silas + still complains that we didn’t pay him in 1976. A rare Auerbach blunder.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) December 11, 2022
He played for several teams during this timespan. Silas was drafted by the Hawks. Then he was traded to the Suns and then the Celtics. Finally, there was a short stint with the Nuggets and he finished his career with the Seattle Supersonics.
Silas managed to win 3 NBA titles playing in these 5 teams over 16 years. He is best known for his time with the Boston Celtics and was acknowledged as a tremendous rebounder for a player listed at 6’7. When his playing days were finally behind him, Paul tried his hand at coaching various teams in the NBA.
Paul Silas’ relationship with LeBron James
It turns out that one of the teams that Silas coached was the Cleveland Cavaliers around the time they decided to draft LeBron James. This was before LeBron was able to carry the Cavs to the postseason, let alone help them win a title.
LeBron’s first coach in Cleveland, one of the great rebounders of his day at just 6-7 and a towering NBA figure. Paul Silas will be missed so much … sending love and warmest wishes to Rockets coach Stephen Silas and their whole family. https://t.co/U5LSsEQjzc
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2022
Silas was with the Cavs for 3 years between 2003 and 2005. At that time, his team did not do so well and held an overall record of 78 wins and 168 losses. As a result, he was fired midway into the 2005 NBA season.
Nonetheless, this does not change the fact that he had a good relationship with LeBron. In fact, we can even say that he supported James more than was necessary and took it upon himself to mentor the upcoming NBA star.
Moreover, when LeBron decided to leave the Cavs and go to the Miami Heat, Silas defended his decision of not informing the Cavs beforehand. This was something that everyone was attacking LeBron for not doing. However, Silas felt that the team would do the same to a player without hesitation or informing them beforehand. Thus, he had no problem with what a young King James had decided to do.
It is always sad when somebody passes away. At least, Paul Silas was able to live a full life and accomplish things as both a player and a coach. We hope he finally rests in peace.