(WJW) — The man who coached LeBron James first in the NBA has died at 79 years old, a Cleveland Cavaliers spokesperson confirmed to FOX 8 News.

Paul Silas, a former NBA player and coach, was with the Cavs from 2003-2005, during which time of course the Kid from Akron was drafted by Cleveland straight out of high school. Silas only made it 64 games into his second season with the Cavs, and never took the team to the playoffs, but it wasn’t his final stint as a coach.

The Cleveland Cavaliers issued a statement Sunday:

“His engaging presence and huge personality inspired legions of NBA players and coaches. We send our deepest condolences to the Silas family and everyone that loved him. Rest in power Coach!”

During his decades of involvement with the NBA, including winning three championships as a player, Silas was the head coach for the San Diego Clippers, Charlotte and New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats. He was last a head coach during the 2011-2012 season.

Sunday morning, Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan was the first to have the news Silas had passed away.

“I am very sad to report that the Great Paul Silas has died at age 79,” Ryan said on Twitter. “To watch him play was a joy. To be his friend was an honor.”

His son Stephen Silas continues on the family’s coaching legacy as the current head coach of the Houston Rockets.