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Laimbeer, Shock bring first WNBA title to Detroit

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

Sept. 17
How important is a winning mindset in the world of athletics? Getting your mind to believe you can achieve success is extremely important, I believe. It's all about leadership.

Sure, you need to have talent. Then, you have to get that talent to blend together and to believe. Players must feel their leader is sharing the same concepts in getting them ready to play.

Bill Laimbeer
Laimbeer
What does this all add up to? Shock City, baby -- literally! That's right, the WNBA champion Detroit Shock! Detroit defeated the L.A. Sparks on Tuesday night, preventing the Sparks from winning their third straight WNBA championship.

It all started with Detroit coach William Laimbeer! That's right, Bill Laimbeer -- the center who set those mean screens on the inside for the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons (the team that won two straight NBA titles in 1989 and '90). Laimbeer coached the Shock to the title and one of the WNBA's great turnarounds -- from worst to first in one year.

The former Notre Dame standout did a great job on the sidelines. As I watched the final game on TV, it was special to see 22,000 fans rocking and rolling. I loved the passion and excitement created by the Shock and their leader, Coach Laimbeer.

It was great to watch those young ladies playing with such energy, enthusiasm and teamwork. It all started in training camp, when Laimbeer said he saw his team as a winner.

Isn't it ironic that Laimbeer and his squad beat out a Los Angeles team coached by former Laker star Michael Cooper? Remember, the Pistons knocked out the Lakers from an opportunity of winning three straight titles back in '89.

Congratulations to Laimbeer and the Shock. The Piston organization should be proud of its big, bad boy! Now the Palace will have another banner hanging up.

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