January 26, 2005

Bill Laimbeer Chat Transcript

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 entered the 2004 season with nothing but a repeat performance on his mind.

Bill Laimbeer sat down to chat with Pistons fans on Wednesday, January 26th.

Natosha (Royal Oak, MI): Hi Bill! I read a recent newspaper article that said Kedra was on the Shock's wish list as a new free agent. Has Kedra shown you any interest in coming back to the Shock? I think the team really needs her back!

Bill Laimbeer: Kedra has expressed a desire to take some time off. She's been playing year-round for many years, and her season in Hungary won't be finished until the end of May - after our season starts. So, if she plays, it won't be until late in the season at best.

Davidson: First off, Congratulations to your daughter and Detroit Country Day for winning their 3rd straight class B High School Championship. You have to like the "Finished Product." Not including Shock players, if you could assemble a WNBA team, which five players would be your starters? Good luck this season.

Bill Laimbeer: Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Katie Smith, Sheryl Swoopes and Shannon Johnson, but a Shock player should be in there, and I'll let it go with that.

Rensselaer: What advice would you give a teenage girl that wants to play for the WNBA when she grows up?

Bill Laimbeer: Study in school, because it is so competitive that very few players will make it. So always have school as the Ace in the Hole. But, if your desire to play in the WNBA, rebounding is your best bet.

Kat: Hi Bill. How come you are so grumpy when you're coaching but always smiling when you are announcing with George Blaha?

Bill Laimbeer: Announcing is easy; coaching is hard. Partnered with George Blaha is a pleasure. Coaching against the best players in the world is very difficult.

Tina Hamilton (Birmingham, MI): What was it like winning the WNBA Title as a coach compared to winning in the NBA as a player?

Bill Laimbeer: It's always better as a player because you're actually doing the work. As a coach, it's sometimes frustrating because you want to be on the court, but can't.

Stacey Wright (Bloomfield Hills, MI): Coaching in the Shock and broadcasting Pistons games, wow what do you do in your spare time? How can I become a successful broadcaster like George Blaha? He's my man.

Bill Laimbeer: Very good question. I gave up golf because I have no time. I basically do nothing else, except hang with my family. And as far as George Blaha is concerned, he's one of the best because he has thirty years in the business. I would recommend going to a Communications school, like my daughter is going to at Syracuse.

Marv Tippins (Provo, Utah): First I would like to say, hello how are you? What advice would you give a walk-on men's basketball player in college trying to make the team?

Bill Laimbeer: Cause no waves, make friends with the best players, and get a degree.

Willie (Miami, FL): I've been a huge Pistons & Shock fan 12 years. With the addition of Carlos Arroyo, how much of an impact does he bring to this Pistons team?

Bill Laimbeer: He's definitely a Larry Brown type of player. His ability to pass in traffic will make all of the players on the Pistons better. They just have to learn how to pay with him.

Jerome (Houston, TX): Do you think Chandi Jones will get to start or play more next year? I've watched her for years at UH and miss her plays.

Bill Laimbeer: I do not believe Chandi Jones will start. Powell and Nolan are entrenched in those positions. But I look for Chandi to break out this year, as she has recently in Australia.

Detroit, MI: What made you decide to coach Women's basketball? Also, what made you decide to hire Rick Mahorn as the Shock's assistant coach? I can't wait to see you guys play in just a couple of months. Good luck!

Bill Laimbeer: I coached my daughter's AAU team since she's been ten years old. When she was 14, I got promoted to the Shock. The women listen very well. I hired Rick Mahorn because I believe that he is an outstanding individual, a great potential coach, and one of the best personalities I know.

Kevin Gibson (Milwaukee, WI): Hey Coach Laimbeer how are you big guy? I have been a Pistons fan for over 15 years. What was the Pistons-Bulls rivalry like, was it hard to keep Jordan's numbers down?

Bill Laimbeer: The rivalry was very intense. We would have preferred Jordan to score all of the points, which means the other players did not. That allowed us to win most of the games.

Helena Cameron (Toronto, ON): What do you think of Alana Beard's game?

Bill Laimbeer: I think she's a great player for her first year. Her upside is tremendous, and unfortunately she's not on our team.

Michael Collins (New Orleans, LA): Hey Bill how are you doing? With 41 games left in the 2005 NBA season, what do the Pistons need to do to in order to stay healthy and play better Detroit Basketball? Do you think it's tough being the defending champs after last season?

Bill Laimbeer: Staying healthy is difficult because you have to play so hard. I'd like to see their bench become a bigger contributor; but I still believe they have the best team in the East. The hardest part about being a defending champion is that everybody plays their A-Game against you, and the long season will definitely wear you down.

Brittany (Canada): Hey Coach, tough loss last year. What do you think your team needs to work on the most in order to get the top prize? Do you feel that with out the absence of Swin Cash your team would of won or had a good chance in winning the championship? I mean if everything stayed the same and you were facing Seattle in the finals.

Bill Laimbeer: I think the greatest improvement we will have will be mental. The players are very upset that they did not understand how hard they had to play. I do believe, even though we did not have the great mental attitude, that with Swin Cash, we still would have been in the Finals.

Bill Laimbeer: I enjoyed the conversation. Expect the Shock this year to be on top again.