Paul Silas with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1977
|Born||July 12, 1943|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|High school||McClymonds (Oakland, California)|
|NBA draft||1964 / Round: 2 / Pick: 10th overall|
|Selected by the St. Louis Hawks|
|Position||Power forward / Small forward|
|Number||29, 12, 35, 36|
|1964-1969||St. Louis / Atlanta Hawks|
|1980-1983||San Diego Clippers|
|1988-1989||New Jersey Nets (assistant)|
|1989-1992||New York Knicks (assistant)|
|1992-1995||New Jersey Nets (assistant)|
|1995-1997||Phoenix Suns (assistant)|
|1997-1999||Charlotte Hornets (assistant)|
|2002-2003||New Orleans Hornets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||11,782 (9.4 ppg)|
|Rebounds||12,357 (9.9 rpg)|
|Assists||2,572 (2.1 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2017
Born in Prescott, Arkansas, 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.
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.
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. Silas was fired as coach on May 4, 2003, in a move that puzzled lots of Hornets players (including Baron Davis) who enjoyed playing for him.
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. 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."
On April 30, 2012, the Bobcats announced that Silas would not return to the Bobcats for the 2012–2013 season after producing the worst record in NBA history. 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.
|San Diego||1980-81||82||36||46||.439||5th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|San Diego||1981-82||82||17||65||.207||6th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|San Diego||1982-83||82||25||57||.305||6th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Charlotte||1998-99||35||22||13||.629||5th in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Charlotte||1999-2000||82||49||33||.598||2nd in Central||4||1||3||.250||Lost in First Round|
|Charlotte||2000-01||82||46||36||.561||3rd in Central||10||6||4||.600||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|Charlotte||2001-02||82||44||38||.537||2nd in Central||9||4||5||.444||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|New Orleans||2002-03||82||47||35||.573||3rd in Central||6||2||4||.333||Lost in First Round|
|Cleveland||2003-04||82||35||47||.427||5th in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Charlotte||2010-11||54||25||29||.463||4th in Southeast||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|
|Charlotte||2011-12||66||7||59||.106||5th in Southeast||—||—||—||—||Missed Playoffs|