CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Former Charlotte Hornets and Bobcats coach Paul Cyrus used to say to his friends:

Remembering Paul Cyrus: ‘I knew he had your back’

“You should definitely help that bear,” smiled former Bobcats/Hornets guard Kemba Walker. {Cyrus} was definitely very tough.

Those who came to honor Cyrus at Charlotte’s memorial service on Saturday knew it. Well, we had a lot of stories.

Walker’s former teammate Gerald Henderson recalled, “Having him run into a locker.” “It shows how much he cares.”

But in the end, Cyrus cheated no one. As they said, beneath that towering 6-7 frame was an equally big heart. I came to pay my last respects.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member and friend Alex English said, “He deserves credit. “He was a great guy, a great coach, a great father. He was an NBA icon.”

Cyrus’ professional basketball career spanned nearly 50 years, and he had most of his time at the memorial service. In addition to several members of the Hornets Organization, including head coach Steve Clifford, former Boston Globe writer Bob Ryan, who featured Cyrus as a Celtics player in the ’70s, and current Pacers coach Rick Carlyle as Cyrus’ assistants. I was a coach. With the Nets in the ’90s and Baron Davis, who played for Cyrus with the Hornets a decade later.

“I’ve seen him kick four players out of games in my career,” Davis said in his speech at the memorial service. “It was the funniest thing in my life.”

Then short-term New Orleans Hornet member Robert Pack remembers when Cyrus put him in his place in the best possible way.

“We were in the playoff series. Like “let’s move on to something else”.

Classic Cyrus.

A three-time NBA Champion, a two-time NBA All-Star and a once-in-a-lifetime individual.

“The name says it all. He was a champion in every sense of the word and we will miss him,” said Hornets assistant coach Rex Walters.

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