LeBron James’ first professional coach, Paul Silas, who won the NBA three times, has passed away. He had a age of 79.
“I am very sad to report that the Great Paul Silas has died at age 79,” wrote longtime Boston insider Bob Ryan on Sunday. To watch him play was a delight. It was a privilege to be his friend.”
Before taking over as coach of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003-2004, Silas, whose coaching career began in 1980 with the San Diego Clippers, was an accomplished player in his own right.
He was a two-time All-Star and made five defensive all-star teams long before Silas became a head coach.
Paul also led the Boston Celtics to three championships in 1974, 1976, and 1979.
“RIP to Hall of Famer, 3X NBA Champion, and my guy Paul Silas,” wrote Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on Twitter in his condolences.
“Paul made a huge contribution to the game of basketball and will be sorely missed!” Magic continued, “Paul made a huge contribution to the game of basketball. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Silas family, Cookie and I.”
RIP to Hall of Famer, 3X NBA Champion, and my guy Paul Silas. Paul made a huge contribution to the game of basketball and will be sorely missed! Cookie and I send our prayers and condolences to the entire Silas family 🙏🏾❤️
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 11, 2022
Stephen Silas, Paul’s son, followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Rockets as head coach of the NBA in 2020.