Silas coached in Charlotte on two occasions, the first of which began when he took over head coaching duties on an interim basis in the wake of Dave Cowens being fired just 15 games into the lockout-shortened 1999 season. After inheriting a 4-11 team, Silas would coach the Charlotte Hornets to a 22-13 record over the final 35 games of the season as the team narrowly missed out on a playoff berth. After having the interim tag removed from his title, Silas led Charlotte to winning records and playoff berths each season from 1999-00 until 2001-02. He would then move with the team when the franchise was relocated to New Orleans ahead of the 2002-03 season.
Silas’ second stint in Charlotte began much the same as his first, as he took over on an interim basis in the wake of Larry Brown’s firing in December of 2010. After taking over a 9-19 team, Silas guided the Bobcats to a 25-29 finish down the stretch, resulting in a 34-48 final record.
The next season would not go as well, as the Bobcats would finish just 7-59 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. It was during that season that Silas had his son, then-Bobcats assistant coach Stephen Silas, act as head coach on occasion. Stephen had served as an assistant with his father during both tenures in Charlotte and would stay with the organization until 2018. The experience proved valuable to Stephen, who now serves as the head coach of the Houston Rockets.
Silas enjoyed an illustrious career as a player before gracing the sidelines as a coach, spending 16 seasons in the NBA and winning three championships. A two-time All-Star, Silas was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team on two occasions. His number 35 jersey is retired by his college program, the Creighton Bluejays.
Silas is survived by wife Carolyn and their three children: Stephen, Paula, and Donna.