Paul Silas Rumors
Twelve years ago this week Smith was in this same building, then called Gund Arena, when he first thought of playing with James. The draft was a couple weeks away and he was in town to work out for the Cavs as they considered who to draft with the 10th overall pick. Coming out of high school, he thought he was the type of dynamic scorer who could play and grow next to James. He thought the workout went great. He had good conversations with then-coach Paul Silas. He started to get used to the idea of playing in Cleveland. But when draft night came the Cavs took a four-year college player, Luke Jackson from Oregon, because they didn’t think it was wise to have two teenagers on their roster.
Silas and the other former Celtics at the reunion had a chance to catch the Green practice the day before their regular-season finale against the Heat. Silas came away impressed with coach Brad Stevens . “I just talked to him, and we went to practice and told him that he’s doing a terrific job,” said Silas. “He was running a practice not where they were really going at each other. His voice, he was talking so loud about what they should do. I told him most coaches don’t do that, that’s just terrific. He’s doing a great job.”
“People get it so misconstrued because I’m a smart basketball player and I’ve voiced my opinion about certain things, which I did when I was here my first stint with Paul Silas and Mike Brown. Which I did in Miami with Coach Spo [Erik Spoelstra]. Which I did with Blatt and I’ll do with T-Lue. And at the end of the day, they’ll still have their final call.”
The players mostly are forgotten now, but in the summer of 1991, the Knicks brought a group of hopefuls to the Catskills to play against an equally non-descript team of Philadelphia 76ers wannabes. One guy stood out: this hulking 6-foot-7 bruiser, Anthony Mason, who tossed the Sixers around like rag dolls. “Mase was tough. He didn’t give up anything. He wanted to play. Even then, players weren’t nearly as tough as he was,” said Paul Silas, a three-time champ as a player who was a Knicks assistant and later Mason’s head coach in Charlotte.