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InsideHoops NBA [HOME] July 19, 2003

Paul Silas Interview

 


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Paul Silas is the new coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the first NBA coach of a kid by the name of LeBron James. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Silas at a summer league game in Boston and discussed early impressions of LeBron.

InsideHoops.com: Talk about LeBron James' position in this league. He can play the one through three, but right now he's at point guard. Is that what he pushed for, or mostly your thing, or what?

Paul Silas: I decided to do that for a couple of reasons. He passes the ball so well that players won't be envious of him, with all of his media scrutiny and all that. And I really believe he can be like a Magic (Johnson) in time, so that'll bode well for us too. But early on, if he were on the receiving end of the ball, making his moves or whatnot, and getting the attention, it's a lot different than him giving it up, so Ricky (Davis) and those guys will like him a lot better.

InsideHoops.com: As for him playing point, one of the main things I noticed was that the opposing team's point guard almost always applies a full court press on him, making LeBron work extremely hard to bring the ball up the court.

Paul Silas: We'll have some plays and things to counter that. We haven't even put anything in for him yet, that kind of thing, so yeah they will try to pressure him and that kind of thing, but they're going to pay for having someone little on him.

InsideHoops.com: What are some of the positive things you've learned about LeBron that you weren't expecting? Naturally you knew he was athletic, strong, quick, etc. but what's been a surprise?

Paul Silas: His shooting is a lot better than I thought it would be. His long-range shooting. And he's worked on it, and he's going to work on it a lot more with us. And his poise, that's the big thing. He's just so poised out there.

InsideHoops.com: As far as general on-court awareness?

Paul Silas: Yeah, that and getting up into our offense, knowing what to do at the right time, he knows how to keep everybody happy. It's just amazing that he's only 18.

InsideHoops.com: As for his development and how quickly he'll have an impact in this league, I can see Ricky Davis still leading the team and LeBron taking it easy and learning over time, but I can also see LeBron coming in dominantly and just wrecking everyone he faces. What are you expecting?

Paul Silas: I envision him coming in slowly, and let the game come to him, and not try to take over, and in time I think you'll see him take over more and more. But I just don't foresee that early on, I think he's going to really see what the lay of the land is, and how he can affect the game.

InsideHoops.com: And when you say in time, with LeBron that could mean a month or two, or a season or two, or more.

Paul Silas: Well I think that like any rookie, he's going to hit a wall around all-star break, where he's so tired he don't know what the hell is going on, and then after all-star break he will have found his niche, he will know specifically what he can and can not do, and he's going to be good early on, but he's going to be terrific coming down the stretch.

InsideHoops.com: Thanks Paul.







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