Chat with Detroit Shock Head Coach Bill Laimbeer
|Bill Laimbeer's name sparks one thing in the collective mind of the Detroit community - the desire to win and achieve success in whatever he is involved with. As the leader of the defending WNBA Champions, he is in the midst of the 2004 season with nothing but a repeat performance on his mind.|
During the offseason, Laimbeer took on studio broadcast responsibilities as a member of ESPN's NBA Shootaround and the 2003-04 NBA season was Laimbeer's third as Pistons television analyst, working alongside George Blaha for all UPN-50 telecasts.
Do you have a question for Bill? Send your questions below and be sure to tune in at 3:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, August 26th to check out Bill's answers!
Soupy (Lake Orion, MI)
Which will be the toughest road game on the West coast trip? Seattle, L.A., or Phoenix?
Bill Laimbeer (3:02 PM)
They'll all be tough. I would suspect the Los Angeles game will be the most difficult because of the back-to-back. We're traveling the day of the game, and we know how badly they want to beat us.
Bill Laimbeer (3:04 PM)
1. Obviously I'm biased, so I'd say Swin Cash. It's hard to evaluate who got the best because both teams needed different positions. 2. UCONN is a great recruiter of the best players in the country. 3. There are other great players in the United States otehr than the UCONN players, but it's fun to watch them too. Thanks for the Finals comment.
Hey Bill. Big Seattle Storm fan, but loev what you've done in Detroit. Congratulations on the incredible season last year. I have three questions: 1. Who got the better deal and be honest, Seattle with Sue Bird at the #1 pick or Detroit with Swin Cash at the #2 pick in 2002? 2. Sue, Swin and Diana are easily some of the best in the league - what is it with these UCONN girls? And finally, 3. How great is it to see those three play together for our country? See you in the Finals.
Can shock do it again this yr, can piston do it again next year.
Bill Laimbeer (3:05 PM)
The Shock I believe can get to the Finals, which is our goal. But we have to make the playoffs first, which I think we will. And the Pistons will experience the same thing the Shock did this year. Every team will be playing their best to defeat the defending champions.
Beth (Los Angeles)
Hey Bill! Great job with the Shock this season! Here's to another Championship. My question is this: will the United States take the Gold or will Lauren Jackson and Australia pull out the upset? Thanks!
Bill Laimbeer (3:05 PM)
It's nice to have a Shock fan in Los Angeles. It's nice to know that there's no way the United States will lose in the Olympics this year.
Vern (Grand Rapids)
Granted, the Shock have the same owner and are governed by the same league. What interaction do the Pistons players have with the Shock players and visa versa?
Bill Laimbeer (3:06 PM)
The Pistons players are very supportive of our team and the ten games when they're in town. The Shock players love going to watch the Pistons because they play great team basketball and it's fun to be in a sold out crowd every night.
Bill, Have you ever gotten over hitting all those golf balls in Tin Cup like fashion in the lake (which they renamed for you) on the last hole of the celebrity tournament a few years ago?
Bill Laimbeer (3:07 PM)
Yes. I got over that pretty quickly, fifteen years ago. But however, people remind me (like yourself) all the time.
If you could go back and change one thing in your proffesional basketball career (as a player) what would that be?
Bill Laimbeer (3:08 PM)
I can't even think of something that I would change in my basketball career. Obviously, I would have liked to have won more Championships. But I don't ever look back. I only look forward, and I enjoyed my basketball playing days.
Mark (Center Line)
Hey Bill, Will your first born daughter ever play in the WNBA?
Bill Laimbeer (3:09 PM)
The odds are definitely against her. It is very difficult for any player to make it to the professional level. While she is a very fine player, it takes special athletes to make it to the WNBA.
Why don't I hear anything about WNBA trades? Are you planning anything?
Bill Laimbeer (3:10 PM)
The trading deadline passed on Tuesday. There were no trades, and partly because it's very difficult, with the hard sell that we have, to make trades and salaries work out for each team. And the playoffs are so close, it would be hard to disturb a team's chemistry this late.
Which piston do you enjoy watching play the most on the current roster?
Bill Laimbeer (3:11 PM)
That's kind of a toss up between Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace. Ben, because he is so relentless in hammering the boards and playing great defense. But I also enjoy Rasheed Wallace's style of play, especially his unselfishness and quick ball movement to his teammates.
Ryan Scott: Detroit, MI
Hey Coach Laimbeer what is it like coaching in the WNBA, do you ask Coach Chuck Daly for some coaching advise or some guidance during the season? Great job last season I was there in the stands wacthing you guys send the Sparks home without a title. Nice Going
Bill Laimbeer (3:12 PM)
I enjoy very much coaching in the WNBA. I would only be a professional basketball coach because it is the highest level, and the players can be expected to understand quickly. I don't seek Chuck's advice during the season. I pretty much do my own thing. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but it's a great learning experience when that happens.
Hey Bill. Do you think when Larry Brown retires you'll be the new Pistons coach? I hope you are!
Bill Laimbeer (3:14 PM)
(Editor's note: this was by far the most commonly asked question by the fans) I am constantly asked that question or people make that statement to me when I walk around town. My answer is always the same: I'm happy doing what I'm doing right now, and Larry Brown is an oustanding coach - one of the best in the world. As far as I know, he signed up for a long time. I don't anticipate Larry Brown going anywhere soon, so I don't even think about it.
Bill, How much pt do you think Darko will get this season and how well do you think DC will fit in with the Pistons?
Bill Laimbeer (3:15 PM)
It remains to be seen how much playing time Darko will get. I hope, obviously, more than last year. Not only do I believe that he can help, but also for his development. I think Derrick Coleman, for the near term, will contribute well. He is a very smart player, experienced and knows Larry Brown.
Soupy (Lake Orion, MI)
Do you think Ruth and Swin will be fatigued coming back from Athens?
Bill Laimbeer (3:16 PM)
I hope not. I don't think they'll be fatigued from the basketball. Our players are playing just as hard as the USA team is. But the flight all the way back from Greece is a gruelling trip. But fortunately, they get back on Sunday and will have two days to recooperate before our first game on Wednesday.
How you doing Bill? Do you and Ruth Riley have a special relationship considering you both are Irish Alumni? Josh
Bill Laimbeer (3:17 PM)
We have a very good relationship, but I don't think it has a lot to do with being Notre Dame Alumni. I respect the way she plays, and actually, I tried to mold her in the style of play that I did.
Soupy (Lake Orion, MI)
What are the main differences in the USA Women and Men's style of play in Athens?
Bill Laimbeer (3:18 PM)
I don't believe it's a difference in style of play, I just believe that the women's team has all of the best players that the United States can offer; where the men had to dig deep into their pool to assemble a team.
Alex Domino (Eaton Rapids)
Who do you think would win between the 1989 Pistons and 2004 Pistons (Who is better in your opinion)?
Bill Laimbeer (3:20 PM)
It's very difficult to compare teams from different generations. The game has remained the same with the lines and the ball, but the players have changed dramatically. The '89 and '90 Pistons were pre-expansion and you could build very deep rosters and that is the big difference between the old Pistons and the new Pistons. If they met in the Finals, the old Pistons would win 4-0.
In your opinion, what's the major difference between the WNBA game and the NBA game?
Bill Laimbeer (3:21 PM)
The WNBA game needs all five players on the court working together and playing very fundamental basketball because no one player can dominate physically or athletically. The NBA game can be dominated by two great players, like last year's Lakers, and can be very successful. Not so in the WNBA.
Zach Tecumseh MI
Hey, im just wondering if you think swin cash is one of your best players..? explain
Bill Laimbeer (3:22 PM)
Swin Cash is our best player. Her leadership and work ethic are phenomenal. On top of that, she is an extremely gifted athlete who is very intelligent and driven to win Championships.
Hey bill how come everytime the Pistons have success all these so called NBA experts repeatedly make excuse after excuse to how the Pistons were "Lucky"?
Bill Laimbeer (3:23 PM)
I don't think the Pistons were lucky. I think that the Pistons are changing the NBA game back to five-men basketball. Many writers or TV commentators haven't caught onto that fact yet. I think you'll see many NBA teams attempt to copy the style or chemistry of last year's Pistons.
Bill Laimbeer (3:24 PM)
Thank you all for your questions! Hopefully the Shock, starting next week, will come out of the break playing great basketball, make the playoffs, and defend our WNBA Title.