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April 18, 2012

Charlotte Bobcats' Rod Higgins confirms Paul Silas-Tyrus Thomas confrontation

               The frustration of a 7-53 season boiled over Sunday, when Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas and power forward Tyrus Thomas got into a physical confrontation following the loss to the Boston Celtics.

               Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins confirmed to the Observer that the two had a brush-up, after Yahoo Sports first reported the incident Wednesday afternoon.

               “You know how it is – in the heat of the moment these things happen in the course of an NBA season. This isn’t the last time something like this will happen in the league,’’ Higgins told the Observer. “We’ve handled it internally, talked to both the player and the coach.’’

               Silas said he “can’t really say what happened’’ in a brief phone interview this afternoon. Thomas could not immediately be reached for comment.

               According to the Yahoo story, Silas shoved Thomas toward his locker at the conclusion of a screaming match, following Sunday’s loss. The Yahoo story says players intervened to separate the two.

               Silas, 68, was one of the NBA’s toughest players as a power forward in the 1970s, and this isn’t the first time he’s had a confrontation with a player as a coach. As a Charlotte Hornets assistant in the mid-‘90s he went nose-to-nose with Anthony Mason, a burly and volatile power forward. Some Hornets players who were there have described that as among the boldest things they’ve seen a coach do.

               Thomas has had a disappointing season, and lost his starting job at power forward. He has the longest guarantee on the Bobcats’ salary cap going forward – three additional seasons at about $26 million.

               Silas’s coaching contract expires after this season and Bobcats management has made no statements as to whether Silas will be back next season.

Posted by Observer Sports on April 18, 2012 at 04:36 PM | Permalink


Man, what's next for the cats? Tyrus sucks and coach Silas is not the ideal coach. MJ needs to amnesty him and sign FA like Eric gordon. He has a good chance of coming here because the two are RELATED! C'mon cats

Posted by: James | Apr 18, 2012 4:45:11 PM

that's a complete mismatch. thomas isn't even close to silas' weight class.

from the report...way unprofessional for a coach or leadership position to throw around salaries regardless of how accurate it might be. thomas was on the floor 11 minutes that game. so he went to LSU right after brandan bass did. you're mad about that?

as bad as thomas has played this year and as underweight as he is.....he SEEMS to be one of the better teammates out there. you constantly see him hyping up his team, congratulating and encouraging and bringing more energy than you would expect from a guy barely playing on a rebuilding team that he's supposed to be a leader of. then again, he was given 40 million reasons to wave a towel.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 18, 2012 4:59:40 PM

It will not change Silas. He is a coach for the ages. Sadly, it may not change Thomas.

Posted by: tarhoosier | Apr 18, 2012 5:00:34 PM

This season really can't end soon enough...

Posted by: j | Apr 18, 2012 5:01:30 PM

Paul was dead wrong! He had no business putting his hands on Tyrus. The season has been a disappointment but the blame game is old. First it was Boris now Tyrus. I hope Silas is getting suspended. If it were the other way around Tyrus definitely would.

Posted by: digal704 | Apr 18, 2012 5:16:50 PM

if I was coach & my players were as sorry as the Bobcats are I would stay mad all the time...Silas gets no blame from me, our players all suck

Posted by: bull123 | Apr 18, 2012 5:45:04 PM

maybe if these overpaid babies with their guarenteed contracts would actually play ball it wouldn't have to be this way. Most of these guys are collecting paychecks. Get rid of guarenteed contracts and let these guys play for their paychecks for a change, or get the heck out and find someone that would want to play.
Not saying it was right or wrong for Silas to do what he did, but knowing where he came from and where the league is now, it's got to be frustrating.

Posted by: DT | Apr 18, 2012 5:54:15 PM

There is no place in basketball where a player or coach places hands on somebody. He is still too old to physically confront Tyrus regardless of his toughness attitude. Tyrus and Silas may not be here next year, but Tyrus has a 50% chance of being with the Bobcats. Silus has no chance of being with the Bobcats next year. Actually no one has been playing that consistent or great but the exception has to go to Mullens and Hendo. Tyrus is a hot head though and it carried over from the Bulls to the Bobcats. He lost some of that competitive edge but hopefully he gets better.

Posted by: tbird | Apr 18, 2012 6:00:03 PM

Tyrus Thomas has been a dog all year!! Someone needs to get in his face about his crappy play. Silas should have stuffed Thomas in the locker and said "who's next"!!

Posted by: Jon | Apr 18, 2012 6:08:41 PM

Thomas is a loser and deserved to be kicked in the bottom. Silas was upset because Thomas continuously wer joking, laughing, and talking with Boston players while the team was losing by 30 points. THomas is not a professional. He is stealing 9 million a year from Jordan. Jordan is a fool. haha. Whoever decided to give him that money is just stupid. When Thomas was on a rookie contract and young, he was worth taking a look as a POTENTIAL because of supposed athleticism. But, now with younger, more athletic, stronger players coming out of college every year. He isn't even a PROSPECT anymore. He knows that now...and he is satisfied collecting that big check and laughing all the way to the bank. And Silas, who has been in the league a long time, knows a trash when he sees one. Silas should not come back as a coach next year, but this demise of the Bobcat is not his fault. When you give away Wallace, Felton, Chandler, Nazr, Dampier, Jackson all within a years frame of time...you know this team is designed to suck, so the management is thankful to the Silas.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 18, 2012 6:18:05 PM

Eric gordan and MJ are RELATED!! Sign him!!

Posted by: James | Apr 18, 2012 6:19:38 PM

They gave away Wallace and signed Thomas to 50 million dollar contract...hahaha....

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 18, 2012 6:20:52 PM

Thomas is a loser and deserved to be kicked in the bottom. Silas was upset because Thomas continuously wer joking, laughing, and talking with Boston players while the team was losing by 30 points. THomas is not a professional. He is stealing 9 million a year from Jordan. Jordan is a fool. haha. Whoever decided to give him that money is just stupid. When Thomas was on a rookie contract and young, he was worth taking a look as a POTENTIAL because of supposed athleticism. But, now with younger, more athletic, stronger players coming out of college every year. He isn't even a PROSPECT anymore. He knows that now...and he is satisfied collecting that big check and laughing all the way to the bank. And Silas, who has been in the league a long time, knows a trash when he sees one. Silas should not come back as a coach next year, but this demise of the Bobcat is not his fault. When you give away Wallace, Felton, Chandler, Nazr, Dampier, Jackson all within a years frame of time...you know this team is designed to suck, so the management is thankful to the Silas.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 18, 2012 6:21:41 PM

Is there anyone out there that still believes Silas & Son are the long term coaching solution for this franchise?

If so, please stand up and be counted.

Anyone watch the Spurs-Lakers game last night? Top to bottom the Spurs organization is class personified.

There is just no way the Bobcats can ever go from here, to there, with Air Minimum as the owner.

Diaw giving the Spurs 18-20 solid minutes per game....hmm. I think the Bobcats were the problem, not Boris.

Posted by: George Hanson | Apr 18, 2012 6:27:10 PM

No kidding. Paul Silas is decent, but bring in his son as his assistant and have him coach the team alterately? That is just so unprofessional...and bring in Higgin's son that nobody wanted? What is this? Harlem street corner grocery store?

And Jodan, you are running a business where majority of your customers are white, why have all the blacks, save for Cho, as the coaches and executives, etc. At least bring in a white coach next time.

But, I applaud Silas for kicking Thomas in the bottom.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 18, 2012 6:32:52 PM

And further, why would any player want to come in and join the Bobcats?

Crash-Felton-Jackson all treated shoddily. Current year players (Diaw, Thomas, etc...) basically in full mutiny mode.

What a debacle.

Posted by: George Hanson | Apr 18, 2012 6:36:52 PM

I used to respect Jordan as a player, and thought Jordan should be given a little slack for drafting Brown and Morris with 1 and 3. But, now I realize Jordan is really in way over his head as an NBA executive. Look at his coaching changes..Sam Vincent, Larry Brown, Silas...that is sorry group of coaches. I mean...you don't expect consistency with those three. Vincent is..well vincent..not qualified. Larry Brown has been fired 20 times in 20 years and is 70 going on 71. Silas, decent, but he also is like 70 years old and the wear is showing. The best thing Jordan has even done as an executive was hiring Cho who robbed the bobcats of Wallace.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 18, 2012 6:39:40 PM

They are gonna overpay any free agent to come to charlotte and it's not going to be a top tier, not even in Wallace's class.

Only chance they have is the draft, but that takes a few years, and anyone who is very good will leave after the rookie contract, so..it will be ongoing rebuilding.

The right way to rebuild was keeping Chandler, wallace, and getting rid of Jackson, Dampier, and drafting solid.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 18, 2012 6:46:27 PM

That's too bad. I like TT he is definately an emotional guy. He seriously needs to Mature, looks as if he has something to say or negative body language about everything that is said to him. He and Najhera are 2 guys that go into games and bring energy if not production, which TT has improved much lately! Could be valuable for the future.

However you're right it's alot of money for a tall cheerleader(but love when he is jumping around waving the towel) . Still can't help but think he will be bigger and better next year.

As far as Silas goes... I have always liked Silas, but wonder if this rebuilding scenario is not his strong suit. When you see elementary problems happening over and over and over........ I don't know. Just bad all around.

I did like Tony Kornheiser till yesterday, punk.

Posted by: David Stern has to go!! | Apr 18, 2012 7:07:57 PM

Geez, Rick. The Yahoo article has more info than this.

Posted by: Downtown Sports | Apr 18, 2012 7:31:27 PM

With the way the season has gone, you'd be surprised if tempers didn't flare.

Posted by: BB | Apr 18, 2012 7:38:15 PM

Silas is a much better coach than Thomas is a player... and sadly, Thomas isn't even much better as a player!

Posted by: John | Apr 18, 2012 8:20:26 PM

League contraction. Please

Posted by: Nhoj | Apr 18, 2012 8:23:58 PM

why even publish this story? soap operas blow and the bobcats have had a really lousy season and we fans don't need anymore than the sad play of the team to bring us down. Well, since you did print it, tear 'em up Mr. Silas. In general you have a bunch of over-paid, over-rated, cinderella's playing for you. I can't wait until midnight for most of the team to turn back into pumpkin-heads.

Posted by: Brian | Apr 18, 2012 9:29:58 PM

Charlotte has not been anything since the Hornets left!!! Give it up ad stop the embarrassing the city! We all know it!!

Posted by: Dave | Apr 18, 2012 9:38:45 PM

This whole team is an embarassment at this point. To start acting like 13 year olds and fighting it out in the locker should be the last straw. Jordan needs to clear them both out for the rest of the season.

Posted by: Jamey | Apr 18, 2012 10:34:29 PM

It gets worse: we actually sent a 1st round pick to the Bulls for TT. Brilliant.

Posted by: Downtown Sports | Apr 18, 2012 11:08:33 PM

Bring back the Hornets name, then bring back Bristow as coach, it can't be worse. Higgins as MJ's buddy and his D-League level son need to be shown the door as well.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 18, 2012 11:28:11 PM

Absolutely right, DS. And then compounded the mistake by matching that ridiculous offer sheet NJ gave him. But the worst of it is that he's no different as a player than he was before we traded for him. He averaged 8-5 as a Bull, and he's averaged 8-5 as a Bobcat. Pitiful.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 19, 2012 12:33:30 AM

Contrary to the people piling on, it is too bad they made the Thomas move because other than that the rebuild has been perfectly executed. Every other bad contract will be gone by next summer, number one pick this year, two more next year, new coach and all kinds of cap space. They have completely cleared the decks except for Tyrus.

Posted by: Davey | Apr 19, 2012 6:53:21 AM

@ George Hanson | Apr 18, 2012 6:27:10 PM

Are you KIDDING?!? You come on here praising Boris Diaw for what he's doing in San Antonio? Unbelievable. Diaw had at least 9 million reasons to give his best effort here. He CHOSE not to. He decided to be a detriment to the team with subpar performance and bad decisions on the court. I can find a way to respect the person that jumps off the ship, but NOT the person who does everything they can to sink the ship in the process. Phooey on Diaw AND YOU!

Posted by: MrMixx | Apr 19, 2012 9:01:43 AM

There is a big difference between being terrible and not competing. This team just does not compete. I don't think Silas is a terrible coach, but he needs to be gone to assist the rebuilding process. I think he just took one for the team this year by agreeing to be the head coach of a terrible team. However, he could take some responsibility and coach them up so that they would at least compete.

Posted by: Sambo | Apr 19, 2012 9:31:27 AM


Posted by: JOE CIESLAK | Apr 19, 2012 11:29:34 AM

Mr. Mixx,

Boris had some monster games this year as well. You could definitely argue that he didn't step up and take the lead when augustin henderson and maggette were all out but is that really his fault? that's never been his game. point guard maybe but leading scorer? no. he gave plenty of effort here, just didn't score a lot consistently.

as for thomas.....the true worst part about it was that while we sent a 1st to chicago (that i believe we still owe) and gave him a 40 million dollar deal.........michael beasley was available for a 2nd round pick when miami cleared house last summer. then he got 5 or 6 million over the past 2 seasons and will probably command ~5 a year this offseason. THAT is the worst part about it.

Thomas has played hard. he's brought energy. he's made plays. but he has missed so many shots, been knocked around way too much, and just generally.....hasn't developed into the guy we thought he was going to be when he came here. him being injured most of last year + lockout no offseason has a LOT to do with it. I think you'll see big improvement from him going to next year. honestly.

regardless of how bad you play, silas looks way worse coming out of this than thomas and that took something severe.

can we petition the supreme court to make diop's contract for next year void? anyway we can get him deported or something? or at least threaten it until he opts out? that would at least lessen the blow on thomas' contract until it becomes somewhat trade-able.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 19, 2012 11:57:22 AM

No matter how much you hate Jordan the owner, Higgins, Silas & Silas, Tyrus Thomas or Boris Diaw or whoever, at some point you have to feel bad for these guys. It has to be a terrible feeling to know you are part of the worst team in the history of pro ball. Some of these guys - Henderson, Walker, Mullens, and Derek Brown come to mind - are working as hard as they can; they just aren't as talented as their counterparts on other teams. I'm surprised it has taken this long for somebody to blow up. I can't believe their aren't fights every day in the locker room, as frustrating as this must be for them.

Posted by: J | Apr 19, 2012 2:20:39 PM

charllottean, you are in a denial and delusion due to this horrible Bobcats. Plain and simple, Diaw and Thomas are in the bottom pits making superstar money. And it's the bobcats that handed out that contract. Haha...too bad. Wake up buddy. There are probably 100 college players that could play better than Diaw or Thomas as a power forward. And that is the truth.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 19, 2012 4:32:40 PM

The only players worth anything are Mullins, Biyomobo, Walker, Brown, White. Others don't belong. And Walker has long way to go as a point guard. Mullins should be starting at 4 and getting 15 shots a game. He's good for 20 points and 8 rebounds and a 7 footer. Why not develop a guy like that?

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 19, 2012 4:36:33 PM

Even here, bottom of NBA Derrick Brown and White played better than 9 million dollar men Diaw and Thomas, just because they played hard.

Posted by: championshipss | Apr 19, 2012 4:40:01 PM

I seen gerald henderson in public today. For as bad as the team is doing this year. he still very nice to fans in public. Even asked me what my name was and shook my hand

Posted by: Andrew | Apr 19, 2012 7:24:08 PM

This season does not concern me much. It is the future that i worry about. I mean who thought moon was a good player. While other teams are getting steals from the d league this management gives us moon. Higgins needs to be fired asap. If he has an self respect he will resign knowing his friend will never fire him.

Posted by: crymeariver | Apr 19, 2012 8:31:23 PM

Who will have more wins this year...The Carolina Panthers or the Charlotte Bobcats? Hard to believe that is even a valid question...

Posted by: Bob20P | Apr 19, 2012 10:33:35 PM

we have become such liberals and passivist, sometimes you have to snatch a not in somebody to get there attention. Stop whining aboutbputting hands on someone, that is what is wrong with society today, people just do what they want with no immediate or meaningful repurcussions. Maybe if more people knew they would be held accountable things would change. Do you think fighting men and women are made because of wussy drill instructors, heck no. To many liberal whiny butts would like to change that also and send unprepared people to die. Get real, get there attention Silas.

Posted by: mark | Apr 20, 2012 7:01:29 AM

Coach Silas is a mans man. Todays NBA don't know what that means. Premadonnas collecting checks without shame.

Posted by: brown | Apr 20, 2012 9:48:47 AM


There are not 100 college players better than diaw. That is seriously exaggerating. MAYBE 30 but def not 30 power forwards.......thomas......there might be 1000 right now. I also never said i supported them signing the big contracts they did. Ive been more critical of their past moves than just about anybody. People are quick to forget the games boris had here. Didn't he have a triple double and a 32 point 16 rebound game this year? no doubt he wasn't consistent with the scoring but the guy was a solid player until he and silas had it out. And now he's solidly contributing to a championship contender and still captaining an olympic gold medal contender. He and thomas are not the same. Thomas never did half the things boris has done in his career. Thomas needs 30 pounds of muscle.

You conveniently left henderson and augustin out of the keepers list and thats an error. Those 2 dudes are still young and are legit starters in this league. Walker does not look like a keeper at this point. He looks like you give him more time to prove himself but i don't think you hesitate if someone offers a mid 1st rounder for him. Let alone a lottery pick.

Henderson has been playing his balls off lately. That still last night at the end? Nuts.

I'd love to see dragic and beasley here next year but i know they won't do it. So we just have to hope our pick is an absolute stud.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 21, 2012 11:57:02 AM

Did u see the last boris' game against L.A, Coach Silas didn't handle him well.
Tyrus Thomas doesn't have boris4 basket ball IQ

Posted by: Zick | Apr 21, 2012 12:11:35 PM

Will the Bobcats ever have a real coach ?

Posted by: dc | Apr 21, 2012 3:30:47 PM

When they start playing from the inside out... w/ Biyombo-5, Mullens-4 .... 2nd team whoever-5, DJ white-4 and start posting up low as they can and kicking in and out to HENDO. WHITE AND MULLENS CAN BOTH POST!! UP!!! AND DRIVE TO SCORE. REALLY!! when that gets old HENDO takes over. Blah EFFING BLAH!

F! The "zone".. Don't take what they give.... TAKE IT!!! Is where coaching comes into play. LB's strict style and Silas' no negativity,, is 2 ends that don't match in todays basketball!

I AM SO ******************************** OVER THIS SEASON!

Posted by: Disgusted!1 | Apr 22, 2012 12:58:13 AM

All I am saying is something is missing(heart,PRIDE!) outside of our many starters! That would allow us to be this bad! Players are hired because teams feel they can be MEN AND "BYGOD" WIN AS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Media and History is not going to give us an "ASTERIK!!" for guys hurt. Maybe a notation. That will mean 0........

Posted by: Disgusted!1 | Apr 22, 2012 1:10:06 AM

Its not about guys being hurt its about this season not being like any other season. Its not comparable. The sixers team that was so bad had a normal season, normal training camp, normal free agency, etc. Its just not apples to apples. Guys getting hurt happens either way but they're more likely to get hurt when they are playing more frequently and more likely to miss a ton of games because they aren't given as many days off to recover.

There's no heart missing from these players. Talent maybe but its way more about experience. We are starting 2 rookies and two more that are essentially rookies in brown and mullens. Guys like henderson williams white and augustin and thomas are the vets on this team and they are young'ns on any playoff team other than okc indiana and maybe the clippers. None of those guys are older than 25.

But if we keep this group together, guarantee they will feed off of that worst team ever label. Guys like hendo and biyombo and even mullens and brown get motivated by that type of ish. We'll be fine if we stay the course like okc and indy did.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 22, 2012 12:32:23 PM

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