Currently viewing the tag: "Bill Laimbeer"

It was a very special night at the Palace of Auburn Hills Friday. The Bad Boys were reunited and honored at the halftime of the #Pistons vs. Heat game to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of their championship.

I’ve been to some very special nights at the Palace, so it was nice to have that special feeling in that building again.



Video Courtesy of Fox Sports Detroit

Dennis Rodman didn’t make it, but when you get to even say Fennis Dembo, let alone see him in person it’s like your birthday and Christmas rolled up in one.

Detroit Bad BoysOver the past 2 decades, the NBA has slightly modified their rules from year to year to all but remove any type of physical play from the game.  In these 2 decades we have seen the league go from teams that are playoff contenders due to limited player movement, to more recently “superstars” ganging up on teams to create “super teams”.  All of these changes were made in large part because of the league wanting to lift its superstars up, to get the fans more interested in purchasing player apparel and for more fans to become interested in the game because of higher scores and more up and down play…. ESPN is planning to take us all back to the end of the days where a team could be a team, and together they would be strong enough to overtake a team with a superstar, by running a 30 for 30 special about the ‘Bad Boys’ era Detroit Pistons.

These Bad Boys are not the main reason why I began watching basketball, but I came to love them because all of my friends hated them.  I grew up a fan of Joe Dumars, who was a main member of the Bad Boys teams of the late 80s and early 90s.

So… tune your televisions to ESPN on April 17 at 8pm to see the Bad Boys honored in a 2 hour documentary in which many old players, coaches, and opponents are interviewed as a part of the show.  So, even though it’s “April in the D” and the Tigers are back… get a little warmth back in your soul by watching Laimbeer, Mahorn, Rodman, Salley, etc all smack down Jordan and Pippen’s candya$$e$ while their former teammates and coaches whine about it and we all laugh about it and wish Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond had a mean streak in them like the former Bad Boys big men.

It seems for the moment the Nate McMillan is the running favorite for the #Pistons vacant head coaching job. That doesn’t mean that he’s a lock, but considering the names that have been thrown around we may be seeing him around the Palace of Auburn Hills come October.

If it were up to Pistons fans across the ocean they would love to see Zeljko Obradovic take the reins and bring his distinct coaching style to Detroit.

Lindsey Hunter, who was mostly a bad boy for life, has asked the Phoenix Suns permission to interview with the Pistons for the coaching gig. He had limited success with the Suns after he took over late in the season and though he was a big part of things in Detroit it’s not likely that he’d be atop the list.

On a side note Lindsey was a lot of fun when he was here.

I’ve heard Mike Budenholzer Spurs longtime assistant is being looked at. Anyone who worked under Pop in San Antonio has serious knowledge as far as I’m concerned.

Mo Cheeks had limited success in his two previous head coaching stints so he’s semi legit.

Brian Shaw I never liked because of his playing days with the Celtics and then later the Lakers, but being a guard in the league would be a welcome help on the bench for Detroit.

Scott Skiles may know how to coach a team and has ties to the Michigan State, but his style I believe is not conducive to young players. He’s got a his way or the highway type of attitude that takes a special kind of team to work with. Plus I think he’s a DB.

You want Drummond and Monroe to take it to the next level then Patrick Ewing is your guy. There is no better coach to have on your bench to teach the twin towers what they need to learn than Ewing.

Now for what you don’t want to hear…

Bill Laimbeer is will not be the Pistons Head coach.

cartoon_laimbeerWe are all “homers” of some sort when it comes to the team we love and the nostalgia that goes along with it, but so many of you need to let go of the whole Laimbeer as coach idea.
Don’t you think if he was a serious candidate he would have snagged the job the other two times he was interviewed for the job? Don’t you think he would have been a better choice than Michael Curry if Detroit was serious about hiring him? He won Championships for the Shock here in Detroit yet they gave the job to Kuester.

We loved him as a bad boy, but he’s legitimately a jerk. Ask just about anyone that has had contact with him or has a story to tell about him and I can guarantee it’s not a nice one. We may never really know what he did behind the scenes here in Detroit or in his assistant spot with the Timberwolves, but there is a reason that he went back to coaching the WNBA.

Nobody likes him.

We can remember him as our beloved Bad Boy that had a hell of a hop skip three-point shot, but let’s stop the Laimbeer for head coach thing please.

And please don’t do the forgive Larry Brown thing either for that matter.

Or Sheed for that matter, though it would be a hell of a lot of fun!

Coach Rasheed Wallace

Let’s face it, no top-tier coach is going to want to come to Detroit right now.

  • This team is seriously rebuilding.
  • They like to fire the coach at the first sign of trouble.
  • There has been issues with the team/coach relationships for a while.
  • Management is making changes every day.
  • The roster is a work in progress.
  • The GM (Joe D) is on the hot seat.
  • They’re not paying the big bucks. Think about it, they have been paying two coaches’ salaries each season for years.

So let’s just sit back and see what the draft and management deals us, but keep your wish list serious. We are Detroit…remember.

 

So we’ve got some down time between now and the end of Summer when it comes to Pistons basketball.  What better to do than discuss who would be on your 12 man roster of All Time Detroit Pistons.  Some of the readers here are only old enough to know the young(er) guys like Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, or Grant Hill, while some of the old(er) readers remember Dave Bing, Bob Lanier and even Dave DeBusschere.

Let’s set some ground rules:

  1. 2 point guards, 2 shooting guards, 1 combo guard/forward, 2 small forwards, and 5 power forward/center types.  Although the Miami Heat showed they can win without a true big man, there are enough good Pistons big men from the past that could get the job done.
  2. Pick a Coach, and coaching staff.  Your coaching staff can be a complete staff from a particular coach, if you’re not aware of the individuals who have coached over the years.
  3. Pick a uniform era (Teal era, Bad Boys blue and white, old blue and white with thunderbolt, etc)
  4. Pick an arena (likely all will pick The Palace, since The Silverdome was awful)

Ok, with all of that said, here is my team and an explanation as to why for each:

  1. Isiah Thomas (Starting PG): Hall of Famer.  Fiery leader who left it all out on the floor each night.
  2. Chauncey Billups (PG): Quiet leader who let his game do the talking.  Value was truly unknown to this team until his was traded.
  3. Joe Dumars (Starting SG): More of a combo guard than anything, because of his ball handling skills.  There is not a better guard tandem to have ever played this game than the backcourt of Thomas and Dumars.  Plus, he was my favorite player growing up.
  4. Vinnie Johnson (SG): Instant offense off the bench – may not be more talented than Richard Hamilton, but if I need a guy off the bench I want the Microwave.  (Note: my omission of Rip Hamilton is not meant to be a slight against him)
  5. Dave Bing (Combo SG/PG): Hall of Famer.  Bing was a player who was way ahead of his time.  Averaged 22 points a night in an era where the 3 point shot wasn’t available.
  6. Adrian Dantley (Starting SF): A lot of people will say that Mark Aguirre put the team over the top, because Dantley was only good at one end of the floor (offense).  Dantley made his impression on me as a youth with his scoring ability and high socks which made it look like he was faster than he actually is.
  7. Tayshaun Prince (SF): “The Block” is what should put him on every All Time Pistons team for the rest of his life.  That block was what helped propel the Pistons into the 2004 Finals for their franchise’s 3rd NBA Title.
  8. Dennis Rodman (Starting PF): “The Worm” is there to get under your skin.  A lock down defender against guys twice his size and weight.  Awful on offense, but with all the shots being hoisted up by my backcourt, I need solid rebounding down low.
  9. Ben Wallace (Starting C): Having Big Ben start alongside Rodman leaves me short up front, but who scores on these guys when both are in their prime?  This front court could average 24 rebounds a night.
  10. Bob Lanier (Backup PF/C): Averaged 23 and 12 a night for the majority of his career.  Left handed big men always get bonus points with me.
  11. Rasheed Wallace (Backup PF/C): Is the best stretch Power Forward from an era when the stretch power forward became a fad.  Known for his constant trash talking, Rasheed has been called the best teammate that his teammates ever had.
  12. Rick Mahorn (PF/C – 12th man/head benchmob cheerleader): Mahorn was a load in the paint.  Would smile in your face if he knew you didn’t like it.
  13. Chuck Daly (Head Coach): The implementer of the “Jordan Rules” would relish the chance to design defenses to guard some of today’s young “me first” basketball players.
  14. 1989-1990 Coaching Staff: Lead by future Toronto Head Coach Brendan Malone.
  15. The Palace of Auburn Hills (Arena): The Palace still looks new to me.  In an era where things have to be “bigger and better”, the Palace has been able to thrive for over 20 years now.  Sure, there have been several facelifts and modifications.  But like with fine wine, the Palace seems to get better with age.
  16. Bad Boys era blue and white Pistons uniforms:  Something about these unis signified toughness for me.  If it wasn’t the plain block lettering with the big red and white stripes, it was the plain blue shorts with the stripes around your waist and down your thighs (like boxing trunks).  Plain and simple, until they were screwed up by the teal era.

Detroit Bad Boys

Honorable mention: Grant Hill, Bill Laimbeer, Richard Hamilton, James Edwards, and John Salley.  Larry Brown and Flip Saunders.

I couldn’t nominate Grant Hill to be a starter, because although he was one of the best players to ever wear the Pistons red blue and white, he wanted to get out of Detroit.  He wanted to escape the teal era.  I couldn’t do Rip either – too many guys who were the epitome of Pistons basketball for me growing up as a child of the late 80s and early 90s.  These are guys who I emulated on the basketball court myself.  Buddha and Salley were tough casualties, but I could only keep 12.  Same with Laimbeer.

So let’s hear it Pistons fans, who is your All Time team?  I can admit I wasn’t around to see Bob Lanier or Dave Bing play, but their stats don’t lie.  It would be fun watching the combination of Ben and Rasheed Wallace match up against the big men from the Bad Boys era, like Laimbeer and Salley had to.

 

Let me dust off the cobwebs…

Sorry you guys, Natalie and I have been busy doing life related things, and have not had a chance to update the site as frequently as we would like in the last few weeks. We both know that while there is not a lot of positive things going on, a coaching search still happened during this lockout downtime. While most of us weren’t thrilled with the options available for Head Coaching candidates, in my opinion we got the best of the available bunch.

So… Lawrence Frank, what do we know about him?

  • Born in New York and raised in New Jersey.
  • Did not make any organized basketball teams during his time in High School.
  • Volunteered to be a manager for the Indiana Hoosiers Men’s Basketball for 4 seasons under legendary coach, Bob Knight.
  • Has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education.
  • Served as an Assistant Coach under current USC Men’s Basketball Team Coach Kevin O’Neill’s staff at the University of Tennessee after working as a staff assistant with O’Neill at Marquette University for 2 years.
  • Current Pistons’ Assistant Coach Brian Hill (my original recommendation for the coaching job) had Frank as an Assistant Coach on his staff with the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies team.
  • Frank was named Interim Head Coach of the New Jersey Nets during the 2003-2004 NBA season after Byron Scott was fired.
  • Frank became the permanent Head Coach after the season, in which he started 13-0 which set a record for most consecutive coaching victories to start a career.
  • Frank was fired from his position as Head Coach of the Nets during the 2009-2010 season, just after Thanksgiving. The Nets began the season 0-16.
  • Frank spent some time as an on-air analyst for NBATV during the 2009-2010 season.
  • Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers hired Frank to takeover the Assistant Head Coaching spot left vacant by Tom Thibodeau when Thibs left to become the new Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls.
  • Frank, alongside Rivers, helped the Celtics advance to the 2011 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals where they lost to Joel Anthony and the rest of the eventual Eastern Conference Champion, Miami Heat.
  • Frank has a career record of 225-241 which is a .483 winning percentage.
  • Frank’s style has always been balanced defense and offense. Motion based offense, primarily because of the backcourt he had in New Jersey. The offense will work in a halfcourt set, like we’re all used to seeing as Pistons’ fans.
  • The defense will likely revert back to a little of what we saw with Larry Brown, as far as sets are concerned. Frank ran a trapping half court set that would jump back and forth from zone to man according to matchups.
  • Frank has coached some good players in his time as a Coach in this league: KG, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen and Vince Carter just to name a few.
  • Frank is highly respected around the league, as evidence to his hiring to be Doc Rivers’ primary Assistant in Boston, replacing Thibodeau.

I’ve been hoping that Detroit would select Frank because, as you heard me say in the last podcast, it’s time for the Pistons to break out of their “roots”. It’s nice and sentimental to hire old, familiar faces from the by-gone era of the franchise. Allowing another 1st year Head Coach (Laimbeer) to come in and flounder in his first year or two not only puts Joe Dumars’ job at risk, but it doesn’t give new owner Tom Gores’ and his Platinum team a potential high reward. Frank is a low risk, high reward hiring.  He has shown he has the ability to “coach up” his teams, as evidenced by the 13-0 start to his career after the Byron Scott firing.  He will also be a good Head Coach to have in place while building a team, and re-establishing the “Piston Way” of doing things since he is a defensive minded coach, who typically runs a half court “motion” offense which has been the Pistons “bread and butter” for years.

He has coached teams that have had a lot of talent, and then some that have had little talent. Consider Frank to be a more experienced Rick Carlisle (pre Dallas Mavs, Carlisle), and take back what Joe said after he hired John Kuester, (and I’m paraphrasing) “This team is in the pre-Rick Carlisle stage. They’re poised for another run”.

This team is far from another run, unless the new CBA allows for them to not only dump a bad contract (via Amnesty Clause in the last CBA) but also to trade bad contracts to another team to clear cap space. A single player base of rookie sensation Greg Monroe is a strong start to build around. Monroe has shown that he truly does have the heart of a Piston and is willing to do whatever the team needs him to do to win.

Frank is a safe choice to be the next Head Coach of the Pistons. We’ve all read the negative things about him: “He lost the team in New Jersey” or “his last year started off 0-16″ or “He’s not as good as his 13-0 start” or “he should’ve gotten more out of that Nets team that featured Vince Carter, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson”. Frank will give this team the stability it has lacked in the Head Coaching position for the last 6 seasons because of his demeanor, work ethic, relative youth, and experience in dealing with the attitudes that come along with “entitled” athletes.

John Kuester is officially out as Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons.  Kuester’s final record totals as Coach of the Pistons is 57 wins to go with 107 losses.
You're Fired Kuester

I’ve already said a lot about the man in this post right here, so go and do reading at that after reading this.

So let the speculation begin as to who the next Pistons coach will be.  I’ll give a sneak preview of the 2nd half of the Wieme/Sitto/Bohnlein podcast, I said former Kuester assistant Brian Hill deserves a shot.  Hill, who has coached at both the highs and lows of the NBA, first as coach of the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies, and then as coach of the Orlando Magic during the height of Shaq and Penny which included a NBA Finals run.

Hill is more qualified than any current coach that is rumored to either be interested in coaching the Pistons, or who is rumored to be a front runner for the job.

I’ll never understand the fascination with wanting to bring Bill Laimbeer in or with Mike Woodson.  Laimbeer has 0 head coaching experience in the league (we just got done with similar) and Woodson is a Larry Brown disciple (we just got done with similar).  It’s my opinion that this team needs to get away from the past, and move forward in a new direction.  I know I may be in the minority, but with as unsettled as the roster is and with the uncertain future of the front office staff (mainly Dumars), I think the team would be better off with someone who has been in the role of “teacher” before like Hill rather than putting a band aid on a gunshot wound with either Laimbeer or Woodson.

Now, Hill is 65 years old and does not have that many years left in the league.  Heck, he may be tired of the run around of the NBA after the drama from last season and he may have no interest in coming back.

This doesn’t mean I don’t necessarily think Laimbeer or Woodson would be good coaches at some point.  If the team was pushing playoff contention at this moment, I’d want Woodson to be hired.  If the team were up and coming, I’d say give Laimbeer a shot, he could inject some fire into a team.  With the current roster, the new ownership group – I’d say if you’re going to give Dumars 1-2 years to re-build, you push for a guy like Hill who will give you 1-2 years and re-evaluate and see who is available at that point in time.

I guess the Palace is where Amazing Happens…just not for Detroit.

The Pistons 61 point first half didn’t make a difference Wednesday night at the Palace as Detroit once again when hot and cold all night long in a game that just hurts to lose.

Detroit, trailing by two points at the half stammered in the second scoring 44 points to the NBA’s worst defensive team.

Key Points:

  • No Darko :(
  • The shorthanded Timberwolves really looked like All-Stars playing again the Pistons Wednesday night, with guys like Lazar Hayward and Anthony Randolph making Detroit look silly.
  • Career high for Austin Daye who scored 22 points starting for Detroit. Austin added 3 assists, 4 boards, a blocked shots while fouling out after 39 minutes on the floor.
  • 5-for-25 from downtown for Detroit! Really…no seriously really? And why are we a 3-point shooting team all of the sudden?
  • Madonna night at the Palace – I wish the Pistons were playing like they were in the late 80′s.
  • Letting a team with 14 wins school you in your own building is just a testament to what this season has been like.
  • The highlights via NBA.com

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  • Rip Hamilton back in the rotation and having fun! Rip went 5-for-12, with 6 assists and 11 points in 26 minutes.
  • The Pistons had 20 assists at halftime, just 10 off their season-high for the season in a full game. They finished the game with 29.
  • Shot selection went out the door last night.
  • Kevin Love make the 48 double-double’s in a row! Love with 20 points and 20 boards was the best part of being at the game.
  • The other highlight, Greg Monroe with his own double-double with 18 points and 11 boards. Add 4 steals and 2 assists for Moose and that alone will make you smile.
  • Monroe on Post play: “Just trying to get in when I can. This whole season I haven’t had many plays called, not expecting that to change, just go out and do my part.”
  • Laimbeer back home again and he looks comfortable on the bench, though most would like to see him on the other side of the court at the Palace.
  • Tay did not play (back) and another DNP for McGrady coaches decision.
  • A double-double of his own for Rodney with 10 assists and 11 points.
  • Pretty cool that George and Special K made their rounds at the Palace last night.
  • Jonas looked mighty nice in his Birthday Suit on the bench. Hey… it was his Birthday and he had a sharp black suit on! Dirty minds.
  • Is it wrong to say, this just isn’t fun anymore?

Don’t forget about Me, That Sports Babe and our new show that starts tonight at 8pm! I have some great questions for John Salley so be sure to tune in and call in!

Listen Live Thursday at 8PM

Darko’s Revenge! UPDATE: When DARKO Stuffs you 7 times!

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The 7-16 Pistons are in Minnesota to take on DARKO Kevin Love and the Timberwolves. Detroit has yet to win a road game in 6 straight tries, so a win against the 5-17 Timberwolves may just help to get the Pistons going again.

The Pistons went 2-0 vs. the Timberwolves last season.
Darko Milicic (yes that Darko) ranks second among NBA league leaders in blocks per game with 2.7 for the T-Wolves.
Michael Beasley leads Minnesota’s in scoring with 22.0 ppg average this season.

Think we can get Bill Laimbeer to take the trip back on Roundball 1 2 3 and teach this team the Bad Boy mentality?

The Scouting Report via Pistons.com

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Tip off is at 8:00 pm and will be broadcast on FS PLUS. If you can’t catch the game on TV, follow it live over at NBA.com or on the radio over at WWJ 950 AM.

Leave your thoughts in the comments or Chat Live with your fellow Pistons fans during the game.

It was one of those days where I had time to search through my Sheeednormous video archive when I happened to stumble across a good one.

It’s a top ten what if’s that have sealed the fate of our Detroit Pistons.  What makes me think a little more since the last time I watched this video (about 2 seasons ago) is what has happened since this video was put together and the uncertainty around what twists and turns we are in for once the team has a new owner.

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Video Courtesy of the NBA and The Detroit Pistons.