CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- He’s been called Mr. Power of Positive Thinking. His players say he’s definitely boosted their confidence. Charlotte Bobcats Coach Paul Silas gets the credit for a team that’s playing better.
Since he took over as head coach of the team in December the team’s record is 12-8. When Larry Brown departed they were in 9-19.
"I am probably one of the most positive people you will ever see and I think good things happen when you least expect,” he says.
He certainly wasn’t expecting the phone call in December that brought him back to the NBA after a five year break.
“I didn't know that this is what I really wanted to do,” Silas says. “But I told the guys the only place I would want to coach is in Charlotte.”
His love for the Queen City started when he coached the Charlotte Hornets.
“When the Hornets were here everybody was into basketball. I would like to have that feeling again.”
Ever since he left the Cleveland Cavaliers he’s been living in the Charlotte area and closely following the Bobcats. He felt the team could -- and should -- be playing better than it was.
“The first thing that I did was institute a running game. I told the players we are going to push the ball up the floor. And the other thing that I did, which was most important, I told the players if you are open you’ve got to shoot the basketball.”
It sounds like a simple piece of advice from a coach but Silas knows firsthand the difference it can make. The first time he got that piece of advice he was playing for the Phoenix Suns.
“And that just changed my whole thought pattern and I made the All-Star team that year,” he remembers.
He wants his players to know he believes in them and he is sincerely interested in hearing what they think.
“Most coaches tell players all the time and never ask them, ‘well what do you think about last night's game, give me your opinion of it’ and that gets them to thinking and then when I do come at them they won't go into a shell they will come out of the shell and tell me what's going on.”
“He encourages you,” says point guard D.J. Augustin. ”He makes you want to go out and do better and not in a negative way, you know, he picks you up. I would love to see him be the permanent coach. He's great for this team organization and the whole city.”
Silas has been the interim coach for nearly two months now and says he’s enjoying it. He’s doing a job he loves in a city he loves and not worrying about the interim title.
“What I want to do is be successful and if it happens that I go further, that's fine,” he says. “If not then it's okay.”