Just to get the biggest elephant out of the way – I do have to start by mentioning that the WNBA is in obvious trouble. If it wasn’t clear enough with attendance numbers dropping along with television viewers, the 2009 season brought sponsored uniforms into the mix. The equivalent of having “PISTONS” removed in lieu of “Rock Financial” or “Meijer’s”, the league has turned to the economy or European soccer to dictate their brand image. Now, the league’s most famous coach and Detroit’s universally-known brand name have bolted (no pun intended) to pursue an NBA job??
Don’t forget when Laimbeer first joined the Shock as a head coach. The team was reeling following a sex scandal with a head coach and were dead last in the league. Attendance had also taken quite a dip and it was Laimbeer’s quick action that turned things around for the Shock. Even through it all, it was very clear that Laimbeer wanted things his way along with all of the credit for turning things around. Even with no experience under his belt when he first took over, no. 40 always wanted something more – and apparently that was the NBA.
The transition from female to male basketball is not the most frequently traveled path and right out of the gate it is apparent that NBA GMs are having the same doubts. With his unwillingness to be second fiddle to any coach in the NBA he may find himself with more regrets for having left the one position he excelled in during his post-NBA career.