Paul Silas Receives Vote Of Confidence
After changing the culture in and around the Charlotte Bobcats, interim coach Paul Silas got a vote of confidence today by way of a one-year extension that keeps the 11-year head coach through the 2011-2012 season. Silas had guided the Bobcats to a 15-13 record since taking over the team on Dec. 22, guiding Charlotte from the depths of a 9-19 record.
The Bobcats held a press conference this afternoon, with Silas and general manager Rod Higgins announcing the deal.
"Its a very exciting day for me knowing the fact that I’ll be here this year and next year and have a chance to really make this team special," Silas said. "I think we’ve got a good start so far, there’s a long way to go, but we’re getting there.
"My main goal when I took this job was to change the atmosphere, change the attitude and make this team more confident and I think we’ve began to accomplish those goals."
As head coach, Silas has ramped up the enthusiasm of the team by initiating a more uptempo offense and preaching communication on defense. Silas won the team over with his ability to hold them accountable without alienating them in the process. Numerous players, including Stephen Jackson and Gerald Henderson, have come out to applaud the change from Larry Brown to Silas in late December; while also speaking publicly about Silas’ ability to reach the team.
Higgins believes the move to drop the interim tag for Silas speeds up the process of the Bobcats getting better going forward.
"It’s a positive thing for us in getting this deal done because now it allows us to look at our roster and really focus on how to improve it," Higgins said. "Now that we have our head coach in place that makes it a great opportunity."
Charlotte is currently one-and-a-half games behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But with wins over the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks over the past nine days, Silas sees good things for the Bobcats after the All-Star Break.
"I really like our chances going forward," Silas said. "I really think we’re going to do something special."
Silas’ first game as the permanent head coach comes next week as Charlotte returns to action Tuesday Feb. 22 at home against the Toronto Raptors following seven days off over the All-Star break.