Lakers News: LeBron James Mourns Death Of First NBA Coach Paul Silas
Paul Silas LeBron James Lakers
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA lost one of its most beloved and respected figures on Sunday morning as former player and coach Paul Silas passed away. Silas played 16 years in the NBA before moving on to coaching where he was in the league as an assistant or head coach for over 30 years. His most notable coaching stint was in Charlotte, but he also spent two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he was the first head coach for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

Silas was hired prior to LeBron’s rookie season as it was believed that he would be an excellent mentor for James upon his entering the NBA. His experience as a former player, as well as a coach with some prior success, made him an ideal choice to help LeBron adjust and thrive upon entering the league.

Following the Lakers’ win over the Detroit Pistons, James was asked about the passing of Silas and had nothing but praise for his former coach, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Probably one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever been around. The start of my journey in this league started with him and his command, his principles, his attention to detail, but his love for family. I feel for his whole family, his beautiful wife, obviously Stephen Silas down in Houston. Every time I would go back to Charlotte he would alsways come to the games and I would always try to look for him in the crowd. To hear that news is very sad. So for myself and my teammates that played for Coach Silas throughout those years in Cleveland, our well wishes and our hearts go out to the Silas family that’s for sure.”

Even though Silas spent less than two seasons with the Cavaliers, it is clear that he still made an impact on LeBron both on and off the court. Silas was respected by nearly all of the players who suited up under him and his firing in Cleveland was a bit controversial as Cleveland struggled following his ousting, ultimately missing the playoffs.

His legacy continues to live on in the NBA as well with his son Stephen Silas being the head coach of the Houston Rockets and helping to shape young men in the same way his father did, including a young LeBron James.

LeBron James says it was ‘huge’ to end road trip with win over Pistons

LeBron was able to lead the Lakers to a victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, surviving a huge second-half rally from the young team led by Bojan Bogdanovic. While a mid-December game against one of the worst teams in the league would typically not mean too much, James believes it was a massive win for the Lakers.

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