Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer, who led the Detroit Shock to two championships as head coach, has been named the new coach and general manager of the New York Liberty, according to a WNBA news release:
“We’re excited to have Bill Laimbeer join the New York Liberty as our general manager and head coach. He has brought his winning pedigree and passion to the WNBA and I believe he will play a large role in bringing a championship to the Liberty,” said Allan Houston, the New York Knicks’ assistant GM, who also oversees Liberty basketball operations. “We appreciate Coach Whisenant’s dedication to our team and the organization, and wish him well in the future.”
“I am very excited to return to the WNBA, and for the opportunity to join the New York Liberty,” Laimbeer said. “I missed the competitive fire of players like Cappie Pondexter and Plenette Pierson, two hard-nosed competitors for the Liberty. The commitment of our fans and the City will be invaluable in our quest to bring a WNBA championship to New York. After all, that’s really all that counts.”
Laimbeer spent time with the Minnesota Timberwolves as an assistant coach on the staff of Kurt Rambis and he interviewed for the Pistons’ head coaching job before Lawrence Frank was hired.
In addition to Pierson, who Laimbeer mentioned in his quote above, the Liberty also feature Kara Braxton, who also played for Laimbeer with the Shock before the franchise moved to Tulsa. And let’s just not talk about what has happened to that team since they arrived in Tulsa.
I’m not going to pretend to be a WNBA analyst or anything, but I think a few things are pretty clear based on his Shock tenure: Laimbeer will find talent, he will likely win big in this league and he will do it the way Pistons fans who watched Laimbeer as a player would expect him to do it.