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Remembering The Great And Determined Paul Silas

December 13, 2022

Another multi-time Boston Celtics NBA champion player, the great and so determined, Paul Silas died days back.

Paul also won a title with the ’79 Seattle SuperSonics and perhaps eerily, died at age 79.

Mr. Silas, an all-time great both as an offensive rebounder and team player (far more flamboyant, Dennis Rodman fits easily into that category of praise) was a determined force, helping forge 3 title teams, none of which had the top NBA regular season mark, as well as playing on 2 Celtics team (the ’75 team that had the tiebreaker vs the then Washington Bullets, who eventually “semi’d” them and the (68-13) ’73 team) that did, only to be denied even final round entry, losing in the semi-final round.

In all 4 seasons as a Celtics player, the team either won the crown (’74 and ’76) or as cited above, had the top regular season record.

With the Seattle SuperSonics, a franchise now located in Oklahoma City and “you can call them Thunder” (ode to Christine McVie, a true great, that “we” lost recently), Silas played on teams that won one title, made 2 final round appearances and semi-“apps” (oh the technical!) in all 3 seasons he played so hard, perhaps “James Brown hard,” in “The Emerald City.”

I seem to recall his great effort as the Celtics won a close home game vs the eventual ’73 champion, Knicks in #5 of the “semi,” that New York took in 7 games, the first time the Celts lost a game 7, no less a home such game.

Likely Paul Silas’ greatest/most meaningful game was in arguably/not so arguably, the league’s greatest game, #5/1976 NBA final vs the Phoenix Suns, a team Paul helped turn around in ’70 and defeat in a 7 game semi, en route to the Sonics’ ’79 crown.

Brent Musburger, is known for hyperbole.

One of the few times such Musburger comments were not overblown, was in his praise of  Paul’s performance in that classic game.

Though only part of the story, Mr. Silas had 17 points and 14 rebounds in that game.

Alas, he called a timeout when the Celts did not have one that luckily, for the so often lucky, but far more often, great Celtics was not acknowledged. That has to be noted. 

Perhaps the basketball gods recognized Paul’s efforts all those years and especially that night.

I close citing them as well, a great, determined Paul Silas, being part of some of the league’s greatest games, which still resonate so brightly.


Paul Silas 1977 press photo by Seattle SuperSonics.jpg

The tremendous, determined player, Paul Silas, pictured above.


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