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Paul Silas, a three-time NBA champion and former coach, died at the age of 79.

Paul Silas, a longtime NBA fixture who won three championships as a player and went on to coach for 12 seasons, has died at the age of 79.

The death of Silas was first reported by emeritus Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan and confirmed by the Houston Rockets, who are coached by Silas’ son Stephen.

Silas was a member of the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Seattle SuperSonics during his 16-year NBA career. But he’s best known for his four years and two titles with the Celtics from 1972 to 1976.

“We are saddened by the death of former NBA All-Star and head coach Paul Silas.” “In a statement, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “The many players and coaches he inspired, including his son, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas, bear witness to Paul’s lasting contributions to the game. We express our heartfelt condolences to Paul’s family.”

The 6-7 Silas was a two-time All-Star and a fierce rebounder, especially on the offensive end. He was also named to the NBA’s all-defensive team five times. He also won a championship with the Sonics.

Silas jumped right into coaching after retiring as a player at the end of the 1979-80 season, taking over the San Diego Clippers for the next three seasons.

He was an assistant coach for 11 years before taking over as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets for former Celtics teammate Dave Cowens 15 games into the 1988-89 season.

He also coached in New Orleans, Cleveland (where he was LeBron James’ first NBA coach), and Charlotte before retiring in 2012.

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