Paul Silas walked into his farewell news conference wearing deck shoes, a golf shirt, shorts and a smile. He always was a temp, and he knew he was a temp, and on Monday the Charlotte Bobcats confirmed it.
Silas replaced Larry Brown as coach Dec. 22, 2010. Brown knows basketball, but by the end of his reign he was less a coach than a critic. He ripped his players loudly and publicly and constantly, and they shut down. The team had a record of 9-19 when Charlotte dumped him.
In came Silas, the veteran, to replace him. Silas believed in his players and said so, and suddenly they believed, too. Basketball was fun again for the Bobcats and their fans. They went 25-29 under Silas and won six of their final 12 games in 2010-11.
This season the Bobcats went 7-59. To blame the coach for those numbers is to blame the waitress for bad food. But failure generates change, and there was no way Silas, who is 68, was going to survive the season.