The former power forward played 16 years in the league after being picked 10th overall in the 1964 Draft -- becoming a three-time champion, along with being a two-time All-Star and selected to five NBA All-Defensive teams throughout his career.
I am very sad to report that the Great Paul Silas has died at age 79. To watch him play was a joy. To be his friend was an honor.— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) December 11, 2022
"Probably one of the greatest human beings I've ever been around," James said of Silas in a postgame interview. "The start of my journey in this league started with him."
"Paul Silas was a consummate team player and an integral member of the 1974 and 1976 NBA World Championship teams. Silas was a fierce competitor, with his tenacious rebounding and deft scoring ability around the hoop," the Celtics said via a Twitter post.
"An intense and driven player on the court, the personable and gracious Silas was an ambassador for the sport of basketball and a gentleman off the court. The Boston Celtics mourn his passing and extend our sympathies to his family and loved ones."
"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. 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," Jordan said in his statement.
"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."
"We mourn the passing of former NBA All-Star and head coach Paul Silas," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "Paul's lasting contributions to the game are seen through the many players and coaches he inspired, including his son, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas. We send our deepest condolences to Paul's family."
Photo used courtesy of Celtics Twitter page