Magic could be eyeing Laimbeer
BY JOHN DENTON
ORLANDO - Bill Laimbeer has been nearly as successful as a WNBA head coach as he was as a player for the Detroit Pistons, but he has done it with drastically different styles.
Highly intense and physical as a player, Laimbeer says his style as coach of the WNBA champion Detroit Shock includes patience and calmness.
"People expect me to be the same as I was as a player, but I'm almost exactly opposite," Laimbeer said. "I don't yell, scream or holler in any shape or form and I hate coaches that do that. I demand of my players, but my relationships with players are good."
That's information that could be of interest to the Orlando Magic, a team that will be in search of a head coach this summer. The Magic fired Johnny Davis on March 17 and promoted Chris Jent as interim coach.
Laimbeer, 48, has emerged as one of the top coaching candidates in the NBA and could be of interest to both Orlando and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which defeated the Magic on Monday night. It has been reported that Laimbeer could be a favorite to get the Cleveland coaching job because of his relationship with Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert, a Michigan native.
"It's totally overblown," said Laimbeer, a television analyst for the Pistons. "It's not an issue at all and that's the wrong way to look at it."
Laimbeer said the Magic would be an appealing job for any prospective coach because of the deep talent base already in place. With Steve Francis, Grant Hill, Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu under contract, the Magic likely aren't far from the playoff race.
When Davis was fired in March, general manager John Weisbrod said that wanted the Magic to play with "more accountability."
Laimbeer said that sort of demanding style would suit him just fine.
"That's what professional sports are all about, accountability," Laimbeer said. "You are paid to win basketball games not paid to play basketball. Otherwise, why are you here?"