Paul Silas, a three-time NBA champion as a player and the first coach of superstar LeBron James in the US league, has died at the age of 79.
Silas was a champion twice with the Boston Celtics and once with the Seattle SuperSonics in the '70s.
"Probably one of the best people I've ever met," James said after defeating the Detriot Pistons on Sunday. "My journey in this league started with him. His standards, his principles, his eye for detail and his love for family. This news is very sad.”
Magic Johnson pays tribute to Silas Magic Johnson also paid tribute to the Hall of Famer on Twitter. "Paul made a huge contribution to basketball and we will miss him dearly," the NBA legend wrote.
After his active career, Silas worked as a coach for more than 30 years, from 2003 to 2005 he worked as a head coach for James' Cleveland Cavaliers. Silas was the first coach of the 2002-founded New Orleans Hornets (now the New Orleans Pelicans), and the former forward was on the sidelines for the San Diego Clippers (now the LA Clippers), Charlotte Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats.
Silas' son Stephen is currently the coach of the Houston Rockets. "Our thoughts are with Stephen and his family at this difficult time," the Texans tweeted.