Paul Silas’ son Stephen absent as Rockets upset Bucks: Win dedicated to Coach after father’s death

Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas was absent from Sunday’s upset win over the Milwaukee Bucks as he and his family continue to mourn the loss of their father, former NBA All-Star Paul Silas.

The 79-year-old former power forward and head coach died Saturday of cardiac arrest, his family told The New York Times. The Boston Globe first reported Paul Silas’ passing.

Led by assistant coach John Lucas, another former NBA player and head coach, Stephen’s young Rockets roster topped two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, 97-92. Afterwards, Lucas dedicated the win to Stephen: “It’s for Coach. It’s for him.

Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas (pictured right, in 2011) was absent from Sunday’s upset win over the Milwaukee Bucks as he and his family continue to mourn the loss of his father, former NBA All-Star Paul Silas (pictured left, as head coach for the Charlotte Bobcats)

Led by assistant coach John Lucas (left), another former NBA player and head coach, Stephen's young Rockets roster topped two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, 97-92.  Afterwards, Lucas dedicated the win to Stephen: “It's for Coach.  It's for him'

Led by assistant coach John Lucas (left), another former NBA player and head coach, Stephen’s young Rockets roster topped two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, 97-92. Afterwards, Lucas dedicated the win to Stephen: “It’s for Coach. It’s for him’

It’s still not known how long Stephen will be out for the Rockets, but he and his family were certainly on the minds of those in attendance at Sunday’s game in Houston.

The team held a moment of silence for Paul before tip-off, and Lucas — a frequent opponent of the elder Silas — shared some thoughts about his passing with reporters.

“From the team, the coaching staff, the entire basketball staff, all of our prayers and thoughts are with the coach and his family right now,” Lucas said to begin his pregame availability. “Paul Silas did a lot for basketball.”

Aside from winning a pair of NBA titles with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976, and another with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, Silas was known as one of the game’s best rebounders and most ferocious defenders. He later built his reputation on the NBA sidelines as a tough, yet mild-mannered head coach with the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Aside from winning a pair of NBA titles with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976, and another with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, Silas was known as one of the game's best rebounders and most ferocious defenders.  He later built his reputation on the NBA sidelines as a hard-nosed yet mild-mannered head coach with the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers

Paul Silas played with the Celtics (pictured) as well as the Suns, Nuggets and SuperSonics

Aside from winning a pair of NBA titles with the Boston Celtics in 1974 and 1976, and another with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, Paul Silas was known as one of the game’s best rebounders and most ferocious defenders. He later built his reputation on the NBA sidelines as a hard-nosed yet mild-mannered head coach with the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers

Paul’s place in the game was a constant for Stephen throughout his life. Amazingly, according to the Houston Chronicle, his first words were “Jo Jo White,” as in his father’s longtime teammate and Celtics point guard.

The 49-year-old Stephen didn’t follow his father into an NBA playing career, but the former Brown University guard earned his place in the coaching ranks as a journeyman assistant with seven different teams before being hired as the head coach at Houston two. Years ago.

Since then, Stephen has helped develop the Rockets’ largely inexperienced roster, even though the team sits in last place in the Western Conference at 8-18.

When asked about his missing coach on Sunday, forward Kenyon Martin Jr. to the Houston Chronicle that he and Stephen have bonded through growing up in NBA circles. Like the younger Silas, Martin’s father was also an All-Star power forward.

“He and I have been in the same position, he has been in that environment when he grew up and had an understanding of basketball, and with me my father plays. Following in the footsteps of our fathers and having them in our corner and them being hard on us, it’s kind of cool to have those conversations.’

Head coach Paul Silas of the Charlotte Bobcats and Kenyon Martin of the Los Angeles Clippers talk on the sidelines during their game on February 11, 2012 in Charlotte.  Now their sons Stephen Silas and Kenyon Martin Jr. work.  together in Houston

Head coach Paul Silas of the Charlotte Bobcats and Kenyon Martin of the Los Angeles Clippers talk on the sidelines during their game on February 11, 2012 in Charlotte. Now their sons Stephen Silas and Kenyon Martin Jr. work. together in Houston

Paul's place in the game was a constant for Stephen throughout his life.  Amazingly, according to the Houston Chronicle, his first words were 'Jo Jo White,' as in his father's longtime teammate and Celtics point guard

When asked about his missing coach on Sunday, forward Kenyon Martin Jr.  to the Houston Chronicle that he and Stephen have bonded through growing up in NBA circles.  Like the younger Silas, Martin's father was also an All-Star power forward

When asked about his missing coach on Sunday, forward Kenyon Martin Jr. (right) to the Houston Chronicle that he and Stephen (left) have bonded over growing up in NBA circles. Like the younger Silas, Martin’s father was also an All-Star power forward

Stephen was never embarrassed to be Paul’s son, instead he took pride in his father’s career.

Speaking about his father last June, Stephen said he embraced his father’s legacy, rather than trying to shy away from it.

“Being the son of Paul Silas has always been great for me, and of course it comes with challenges for me, but I’ve never shied away from it,” Stephen said, as quoted by the Chronicle. “I haven’t really done anything to separate myself or try to make people think I’m my own man and all that. I have too much respect for him and what he’s done, what he’s done for me.’

And of course, Paul was happy to play the part of proud father in 2019 when Stephen was hired to coach the Rockets – a job he had once been passed over for in 2003.

“I told him it was going to happen,” Paul told the Chronicle at the time. “I knew it was going to happen for him. They wanted to get him. He said, ”I don’t think it’s going to happen, Dad.” I said, ”It is.” And it did. I’m just happy as hell.

It’s still not known when Stephen Silas will return to the floor, but there doesn’t seem to be much pressure for him to rush back.

Martin went on to say that the team wants him to take time to return to the field.

“We kind of have that similarity, so I kind of understand him,” Martin said. “We don’t know how long Coach is going to be out. We want him to get the headspace right. We want to go out there, play hard and get a couple of wins for him.’

Silas, pictured in 1971, was an All-Star in 1971-72 and again in 1974-75

Silas, pictured in 1971, was an All-Star in 1971-72 and again in 1974-75

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