Health + Wellness

3-Time NBA Champion & Coach Passes Away at 79 –

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The basketball world is mourning the loss of NBA legend Paul Silas, whose passing was announced by the Boston Globe Sunday morning. He was 79 years old.

“I am very sad to report that the Great Paul Silas has passed away at age 79. To watch him play was a joy. To be his friend was an honor,” Celtics insider Bob Ryan reported on Sunday morning.

Another legendary athlete, Michael Jordan, also shared his regards to Silas.

“Our Hornets family mourns the passing of Paul Silas. Paul was an incredible leader and motivator who served as our head coach on two occasions,” Jordan said in a statement. “He combined the knowledge developed over nearly 40 years as an NBA player and coach with an innate understanding of how to mix discipline with his never-ending positivity.

“On or off the court, Paul’s enthusiastic and engaging personality was accompanied by an anecdote for every occasion. He was one of the all-time great people in our game, and he will be missed. My thoughts, and the thoughts of our entire organization, are with his wife, Carolyn; his children, Paula and Stephen; and the entire Silas family.”

As a player, Paul played in the NBA for 16 seasons and developed a reputation for becoming one of the best rebounders and defenders of his generation.

During his three seasons with the Suns, Silas averaged a double-double in rebounds and points each season, was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1971 and 1972, and played in the 1972 NBA All-Star Game. During the 1971–72 season, his third with the Suns, Silas grabbed 955 rebounds in 80 games, and scored what would be a career high 17.5 points per game. In September of 1972, Silas was sent to the Boston Celtics in a deal which allowed the Suns to acquire the rights to Charlie Scott, who had led the ABA in scoring with 34.6 points per game during the 1971–72 ABA season.

While with the Celtics, Silas was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1973, the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 1975 and 1976, and played in the 1975 NBA All-Star Game. Silas was a key contributor to the Celtics’ NBA championships in 1974 and 1976.

Following his lone season (1976–77) with the Denver Nuggets, Silas was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics. Silas played an important role with Seattle as an enforcer, and the SuperSonics reached the championship series in both 1978 and 1979 with Silas. The SuperSonics won the 1979 NBA Finals in five games over the Washington Bullets.

(Credit: Craig Jones/Getty Images/NBAE)

During his NBA career, Silas collected more than 10,000 points and 10,000 rebounds over sixteen seasons, played in two NBA 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.

After hearing the news, superstar LeBron James also shared his condolences.

“To hear that news is very sad, so for myself and my teammates that played for coach Silas

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