Report: Silas to coach Cavaliers

June 1, 2003 at 9:52 PM

CLEVELAND, June 1 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly will name Paul Silas as their new coach Monday.

ESPN reported Saturday night that Silas had been chosen by Cavaliers officials, who called a news conference for Monday afternoon. Silas was fired May 4 after four-plus years with the New Orleans Hornets.

This is one of the most important months in franchise history for the Cavs. Silas is a key component of a rebuilding project that will continue with the selection of Ohio high school superstar LeBron James with the first pick in the June 26 draft.

The Cavaliers had interviewed Silas and former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and the two were considered to be neck-and-neck in consideration for the job.

Silas is the all-time winningest coach in Hornets history, posting a 208-155 record and leading the team to the playoffs in each of his four full seasons.

In the final year of his contract, Silas guided New Orleans to a 47-35 record this past season. But the Hornets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round after advancing to the conference semifinals each of the previous two seasons.

The Cavs were 17-65 this season, tying the Denver Nuggets for the worst record in the NBA. Keith Smart served as interim coach of the Cavs following the firing of John Lucas after an 8-34 start.

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