UPDATED: At about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, Warriors assistant coach Stephen Silas got a call from his father. His daid, NBA great and veteran head coach Paul Silas, had just accepted the job as interim head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. But he wasn’t calling to share the news.
STEPHEN SILAS: “He said he wanted me to come with him and ‘I couldn’t do it without you.’ And it wasn’t like it used to be – I can’t do it without you because I need (my son) around. Now it’s, ‘I can’t do it without you because of good of a coach you are.’ That feels good to hear your dad say that. It’s hard to turn that down.”
Silas, who was brought on by head coach Don Nelson in 2006, said he thought long and hard about turning it down. He said he prayed, sought advice of close friends and family, even talked to Warriors general manager Larry Riley and head coach Keith Smart.
In the end, Silas couldn’t pass it up. Not only does he get to be with his father but he also gets a promotion. Silas will be the top assistant in Charlotte (also, a team source said Silas “will be taken care of” in some capacity for next season even if his father doesn’t stick around). He was No. 2 on the Warriors’ bench and his contract expired in July. He hadn’t been approached about an extension. So, Silas had to weigh the options quickly. By Thursday night, he was on a flight to Charlotte.
SMART: “You can’t replace the person. You can catch someone else up on what they need to do from a technical standpoint. But you can’t replace the relationships that are built, you can’t replace the personality.”
The Warriors are currently in search of a coach to fill Silas’ shoes. Smart said the team had a few people in mind.
Silas said he was happy with the Warriors and he wouldn’t have left it were not his father on the other end.
SILAS: “I enjoy working for Keith. I like what he’s doing, the way he does things, the input I have. Working for one of my best friends is cool. Plus, the relationships I have, especially with Monta and Steph, that is going to be hard to walk away from.”
Smart gave Silas quite a bit of responsibility. He helped Smart with the offensive scheme and worked all of the guards. Silas’ visit and work with guard Monta Ellis this past offseason has been credited for part of the reason for Ellis’ improvements as a player and leader.
Silas works with undrafted rookie guard Jeremy Lin before and after every practice, and Lin sits next to Silas every game to pick the coach’s brain. He did the same with point guard Stephen Curry last season.
CURRY: “That was my go-to assistant coach. To watch film with, study my game, I always went to him. He was my workout coach personally. It’s tough because this was a come-out-of-nowhere thing.”