A couple days ago Bill Laimbeer resigned as head coach of the Detroit Shock to pursue a coaching career in the NBA. Yesterday, I dismissed many fans desires to have him replace Michael Curry as head coach as that won't happen. Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press believes Bill Laimbeer has no shot at coaching in the NBA at all:
Bill Laimbeer has it backward. He thinks the NBA won’t hire him because he has been coaching women. In fact, he has been coaching women because the NBA won’t hire him.
Mr. Rosenberg believes nobody in the NBA likes Laimbeer thus, nobody is interested in his services as an NBA coach:
He won three championships with the Shock. Yet no NBA team will touch him. And still Bill Laimbeer is searching for answers.
I think I know what the problem is.
People in the NBA do not like Bill Laimbeer.
Doesn’t Laimbeer remember his playing career? I don’t mean some people did not like him. I mean he was the most hated player in the league. And if that sounds harsh, please remember that at the time Laimbeer would have taken it as a compliment.
He also says there are a few different personalities that can handle NBA stars as coaches and Laimbeer has none of them.
Mr. Rosenberg goes on to conclude that the NBA quit on Laimbeer long ago the same way Laimbeer quit on the Pistons 11 games into the 1993 season and now the Shock a couple weeks into their 2009 season.
I'm not so sure mentioning the fact he's left a few gigs mid-way through the season is necessary or relevant, though. If Laimbeer is qualified to coach at the NBA level, he will receive a job offer. He won't lose out on one because he didn't have the heart to play anymore after 13-plus seasons and then decided it was time to move on from coaching in the WNBA after 6 1/2 years. NBA coaching lives rarely last that long with one team anyway.
I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Rosenberg's overall declaration. Bill Laimbeer has put together a resume that warrants a coaching offer in the NBA, as an assistant or head coach. Yes, coaching women in the WNBA is not the same as coaching men in the NBA, but coaching a group of players is coaching experience nonetheless; whether it's professional men or professional women.
Given his 13+ successful years in the NBA, I think it's safe to say that Laimbeer possesses an adequate level of NBA knowledge to be able to know what it takes to get players to respond positively to their coach and win. I do believe Laimbeer's lack of NBA coaching offers in the past may have been due to uncertainties regarding his personality. The NBA probably did not know if he could hone his personality around a group of players and get the best out of that group to win. I think he proved that in 6 1/2 years with the Shock, which includes three championships, that he can make a group of players play together and win.
Laimbeer probably won't become the next Phil Jackson, but I think he's put himself in a good position to receive some offers. After all, the original rumor was that the Minnesota Timberwolves might offer him a job and they just fired McHale. It's possible.
Dave Dial of MLive relayed a story from the Chicago Bulls blog that reports Ben Gordon's agent has been promised $11 million by the Pistons for Gordon. I'm not sure how true this alleged promise is considering teams are not legally allowed to contact players or agents, let alone talk numbers, until the Free Agency period starts July 1st. Mr. Dial has a great analysis of the report, so I highly recommend you go check it out.
Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press reminds fans that Joe Dumars has successfully rebuilt a team before. To put things into perspective, he gives us the example of the 2007 Celtics who lost 18 in a row only to win the title the very next season and the Lakers who went from not even making the playoffs in 2005 to losing in the first round the next two seasons to being runner ups and champions these past two seasons.
There has been some Ron Artest talk in the past and Pistons Nation Blog brings it up again by mentioning that Ron Artest has a Detroit Tigers hat. I agree that a productive Ron Artest would make people forget their general disdain for his mishaps in the past, but I think there are just too many negative consequences with him becoming a Detroit Piston.
Finally, Dan Feldman of Piston Powered has in depth analysis of the Pistons' potential draft picks. You can find his latest analysis here, but he has many other links you can find within this one breaking down the different pros and cons of each draft pick.
The draft is just eight days away. I'm pretty sure SB Nation is planning to do a first round mock draft, so weigh in with your opinions on who Motown String Music should pick with the Pistons 15th pick. Also, we will be having a draft day open thread for fans to discuss the draft as it takes place and the upcoming free agency period that begins July 1st.