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Lakers Season Countdown: 29 days, Paul Silas

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In this series, we will count down the days until the Lakers first regular season game on October 28th. Each day we will discuss who wore that number best, and who wears it now or who wore it last.

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Jeff Gross/Getty Images

We're getting ready for a brand new season of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, so to count down the days we'll be looking at the best Lakers to wear the number. We'll continue at 29 days until the regular season begins, where we run into a number never worn in the purple & gold.

Who wore it the best: N/A

Number 29 has never been worn by a Minneapolis or Los Angeles Laker. So I went to the NBA record books and found out that number 29 has only been worn by 26 people in the history of the NBA:

Kleggie Hermsen (Baltimore Bullets, 1948)

Charlie Black (Fort Wayne PIstons, 1949)

Sonny Hertzberg (Washington Capitols, 1949)

Leo Mogus (Fort Wayne Pistons, 1949)

Jim Browne (Denver Nuggets, 1950)

Chick Reiser (Washington Capitols, 1950)

Jack Toomay (Denver Nuggets, 1950)

Floyd Volker (Denver Nuggets, 1950)

Bones McKinney (Washington Capitols, 1951)

Alan Sawyer (Washington Capitols, 1951)

Lou Tsioropoulos (Boston Celtics, 1957)

Archie Dees (St Louis Hawks, 1962)

Joe Grabowski (St Louis Hawks, 1962)

Phil Jordon (St Louis Hawks, 1963)

Connie Dierking (Philadelphia 76ers, 1964)

Paul Silas (St Louis Hawks, 1965-1968 & Atlanta Hawks, 1969 & Phoenix Suns, 1970-1972)

Bud Olsen (Boston Celtics, 1969)

Dave Newmark (Atlanta Hawks, 1970)

Hank Finkel (Boston Celtics, 1970-1975)

Pervis Ellison (Boston Celtics, 1995-00 & Seattle Supersonics, 2001)

Calbert Cheaney (Denver Nuggets, 2001-2002)

Mike Wilks (Atlanta Hawks, 2003 & Minnesota Timberwolves, 2003 & Houston Rockets, 2004 & Cleveland Cavaliers, 2006 & Seattle Supersonics, 2006-2008 & Denver Nuggets, 2008 & Washington Wizards, 2008 & Oklahoma City Thunder, 2010)

Slavko Vranes (Portland Trail Blazers, 2004)

Alando Tucker (Phoenix Suns, 2008-2010 & Minnesota Timberwolves, 2010)

Marcus Camby (Houston Rockets, 2012)

Jeff Ayres (Indiana Pacers, 2012-2013)

The thing that stands out about #29, is that is seemed to be an often used number up until 1970, as 19 of the 26 players wore it until 1975. Then, nobody wore it for 20 years before Pervis Ellison wore it in 1995. Since then, 6 other people have donned #29. And one of them stands head and shoulders above the rest:

#29 - Paul Silas

(Credit: National Basketball Association, Getty Images)

Paul Silas was a 2-time All-Star & 3-time NBA Champion during his 16 year playing career. He spent 5 years with the St Louis/Atlanta Hawks, 4 seasons with the Boston Celtics, and also played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns & Denver Nuggets. While only 6'7", Silas was an exceptional rebounder. In a 3 year span at Creighton University, Silas averaged 20.6 rebounds per game. Over his career, he averaged 9.4 points, 9.9 rebounds & 2.1 assists in just under 28 minutes per game.

He was also a well-respected defender and was named to either the All-NBA 1st or 2nd team 5 times. Silas went on to a coaching career that saw him as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers for 3 years, San Diego Clippers for 4 years, Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets for 5 years & Charlotte Bobcats for 3 years.