Although Bill Laimbeer wouldn’t completely rule out a role in basketball in the future, the former Las Vegas Aces On Saturday, the coach said he was sure of one thing.
“I will never go to training again,” Limeber said in a video call with the media from Las Vegas before hosting the Phoenix team. “I don’t have that kind of energy. I don’t have that willpower. It’s something that takes so much.
“Whether I’m into basketball going forward, I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. I just took six months off. I haven’t spent a summer’s day on my Michigan farm. So I’m looking forward to it. What the future holds, I don’t really have Strong treatment right now. I’m enjoying. I’m relieved.”
Limeber, who celebrated his 65th birthday on Thursday, played in the NBA from 1980-81 to 1993-94, spending all but his first two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. In 2002, he took over as WNBA head coach for the Detroit Shock during the season, and led the team to its first of three WNBA titles in 2003; Shock also won the championship in 2006 and 2008.
He remained with The Shock until his departure early in the 2009 season and took a job as an assistant with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. He returned to the WNBA as head coach with New York Liberty From 2012 to 2017.
When the San Antonio franchise moved to Las Vegas beginning in the 2018 season, Limper took over the team — newly named the Foundations — as coach and led them for the past four seasons. This included a trip to the 2020 WNBA Finals.
The Aces had the second-best record in the WNBA last season but lost in the semifinals to Phoenix. Laimbert said he was then ready to quit coaching but thought he would need to come back in 2022.
“It was an easy decision, but it was difficult to implement,” Limeber said. “Last year, it was clear to myself – and I think some guys – that I was running out of energy. I just made my course in coaching classes.”
However, he told Aces players in exit interviews after last season that he would be back. But he encouraged new team boss Nikki Vargas to look for his replacement. And when former WNBA player Becky Hammon was mentioned, Laimbere was upbeat.
“I told [Fargas]“Our franchise is very high profile and we are still in its infancy … get someone who has such a high level of credibility in basketball,” Limeber said. I brought up Becky’s name and said, “Sure, that would be great for this franchise and it would give me the opportunity to walk into other territory and not have to worry about this basketball team anymore. I didn’t think it was going to happen, but it did.”
Laimbeer said he was pleased to be able to come up with the way he did.
“Most of the time when coaches leave, they get fired because they’re miserable or because they leave a bad team,” he said. “I was lucky to pass [torch] A young, up-and-coming coach with a very good basketball team. So she is ready to succeed immediately.”
The Aces were 5-1 entering their game with Phoenix, with Hamon – who spent eight years as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs – off to a strong start.
“I’m sitting here right now watching the good things happen to this franchise,” Limbert said. “I love the way they play.”
Laimbeer worked as a general manager along with coaching when he was in Detroit and New York. When asked what he was most proud of in his time in the WNBA, Laimbeer said it affects playing style, free agency and changing the rules. It is also believed that Las Vegas helped raise the profile of the WNBA All-Star Game in hosting it in 2019 and 2021.
“Nothing changes dramatically in one fell swoop,” Limeber said. “It’s talking to the league all the time and urging them. Just being part of the team that happened [this league] to where she is today.”