Ex NBA champion Bill Laimbeer becomes new GM/coach of New York Liberty


There’s a new boss calling the shots for the New York Liberty. Bill Laimbeer, former NBA player-turned-WBNA coach, has been named the Liberty’s general manager and head coach, replacing outgoing John Whisenant.

“We’re excited to have Bill Laimbeer join the New York Liberty as our general manager and head coach,” Allan Houston, head of Liberty basketball operations, said in an official press release.

“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.”

Laimbeer’s winning pedigree as a coach/general manager includes three WNBA championships (2003, 2006, 2008) and a WNBA Coach of the Year Award (2003) with the Detroit Shock, which has since relocated to Tulsa.

During his 14-year NBA career, Laimbeer built his reputation as a hard-playing, hard-fouling center for the Detroit Pistons during the team’s glory years, winning back-to-back league titles in 1989 and 1990.

“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”, said former Pistons center.

Laimbeer spent 14 years in the NBA, 13 of them with the Detroit Pistons. From 1982-83 season up to 1992-1993, Laimbeer missed only 6 games as a Piston.

Laimbeer averaged double figures in scoring in 10 of his 14 playing seasons, and double-double in rebounding in 7 seasons. Laimbeer was leading the NBA in rebounds in 1983-1984, and 1985-86 seasons. In 1985-1986 Laimbeer averaged 13.1 rebounds per game.

Laimbeer retired from the NBA, after winning two back to back titles with the Pistons in 88-89, 89-90. Career wise, Laimbeer played in 1068 games (861 started), averaging 12.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg in 31.8 minutes of playing time.

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