Former NBA Player and Head Coach, Paul Silas Passes Away at 79

The National Basketball Association (NBA) world is mourning after learning that former NBA All-Star and longtime head coach Paul Silas died at 79.

According to an announcement by the Houston Rockets, Silas, the father of the current head coach, Stephen, died over the weekend. The New York Times reported that his daughter, Paula Silas-Guy, revealed that he died of cardiac arrest on Saturday night.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement on the former head coach’s death.

Silas was the first coach LeBron James played for when he entered the NBA in his rookie year.

According to CNN, Silas played in the NBA for 16 seasons and won three NBA championships. He was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks (now the Atlanta Hawks) at No. 10 in the 1964 NBA Draft. He was a graduate of Creighton University.

The former NBA coach won two championships when he played with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976. Three years later, he obtained a third one with the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) in 1979. He was a two-time All-Star and an All-Defensive player five times during his career.

He became a head coach in 1980 when he took over the reins of the San Diego Clippers (now the Los Angeles Clippers) for three years. He also coached the Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New Orleans Hornets.

His record as an NBA head coach was 387-488.

He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Silas leaves behind his two children, Stephen and Paula.