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Tag:Bill Laimbeer
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Pistons hope to interview Casey


MIAMI -- Dwane Casey, the defensive architect behind the Mavericks' championship shutdown of the Heat's Big Three, is high on the Pistons' list of head coaching candidates, league sources told CBSSports.com Monday.

The Pistons, who already have reached out to former Hawks coach Mike Woodson and received permission to interview Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, and Timberwolves assistant Bill Laimbeer, will reach out to Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson Tuesday with a request to interview Casey.

Casey, who has been passed over for several head coaching jobs since being fired by the Timberwolves in 2007, has strng together an impressive resume during the playoffs. His defensive schemes frustrated Kobe Bryant in a sweep of the Lakers, caused a rift between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the Western Conference finals, and stymied the Heat's Big Three of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in a 4-2 victory over Miami in the Finals. Casey's defense turned James into a non-factor in the fourth quarter during the Finals and held the two-time MVP to only 17.8 points per game in the series -- nearly 10 points below his season average.
Posted on: June 5, 2011 7:07 pm
 

Woodson, Sampson on list of Pistons candidates

DALLAS – Pistons management huddled Sunday to begin formulating a list of candidates to replace John Kuester as head coach, with defensive-minded coaches possessing experience and/or a commanding presence dominating the early discussions.

Pistons president Joe Dumars and his basketball staff have a preliminary list of candidates including former Hawks coach Mike Woodson, Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, and ABC/ESPN broadcaster Mark Jackson, league sources told CBSSports.com. Former Pistons star Bill Laimbeer also is expected to receive consideration, as is Hornets assistant Michael Malone.

Malone, who worked with Kuester on Mike Brown’s staff in Cleveland, is a finalist for the Golden State head coaching position and also is in the mix to join Brown’s staff with the Lakers. Kuester, who ran the offense for Brown in Cleveland, also is expected to speak with his former boss about joining him in L.A.

Sampson’s push for a head coaching position is gaining momentum due to his expertise on the defensive side of the ball. The former Indiana University coach also has the presence and fiery personality the Pistons are seeking. Sampson’s name also has been linked to the Timberwolves, who have yet to decide Kurt Rambis’ future. Sampson also would be a logical fit for the Knicks, who are seeking a defensive assistant to add to Mike D’Antoni’s staff -- though it is uncertain whether the Bucks would permit him to leave for a lateral move.

Dumars said Sunday there is no timetable for the search, and teams are proving to be slow on the trigger with firings and hirings due to the possibility of a lockout.
Posted on: June 30, 2009 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2009 5:44 pm
 

Pistons fire Curry; who's next? (UPDATE)

As most of the NBA was expecting the Detroit Pistons to gear up for pursuit of several free agents, they fired their coach instead. Michael Curry will not return to coach the team next season, the Pistons announced in an email to the media.

"This was a difficult decision to make," Pistons president Joe Dumars said. "I want to thank Michael for his hard work and dedication to the organization. However, at this time, I have decided to make a change."

UPDATE: Speculation immediately centered on whether Dumars would reach out to former Bad Boys teammate Bill Laimbeer, who resigned as coach of the WNBA's Detroit Shock earlier this month in the hopes of landing an NBA job. The timing is more than curious, but Laimbeer refused to comment when reached on his cell phone Tuesday.

"I've got nothing to say," Laimbeer said. "Thanks for the call."

Such unexpurgated charm (note sarcasm) is why Laimbeer has yet to land so much as an assistant's job in the NBA since retiring 16 years ago. He coached the Shock to three WNBA championships, then quit three games into the season because he wanted NBA executives to know he was ready for his chance.

They've known he's been ready, yet nobody has come calling. The Minnesota job figures to go to former Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, the 2006-07 coach of the year. Mitchell fits the low-budget description in that he has money coming to him from Toronto and thus would be a cheap hire. Anyway, the Timberwolves job won't be going to Laimbeer, even though Laimbeer has let it be known that he's interested.

But what about the Pistons? If there is an organization in the NBA with at least a few people who don't loathe Laimbeer, it would be the Pistons. The same Pistons who were about to hire another, even more despised member of the Bad Boys, Isiah Thomas, until Thomas spoiled late owner Bill Davidson's plans by announcing them before Davidson did. So Isiah was ex-communicated, all those years ago.

Laimbeer is the lone member of the Bad Boys still standing outside of Dumars -- and by standing, Dennis Rodman, we don't mean in front of a craps table. Only hours before diving into free agency with the cap space cleared from his ill-fated acquisition of Allen Iverson, Dumars is in a fix. His once dominant organization is in shambles. If he wanted to recruit his former bouncer to take some lumps for him and make the Pistons the hated, feared, and (in a twisted way) respected again, Laimbeer would be the choice.

That would be some press conference, you have to admit.

But it appears that Laimbeer will be on the outside looking in once again, as other more accomplished candidates begin to emerge. One of them isn't hard to figure out, since his name comes up with every NBA coaching vacancy: Doug Collins, who coached the Pistons for three seasons in the late 1990s and removed his name from consideration for the 76ers' coaching vacancy earlier this offseason.

Another, according to a high-level coaching source, is former Mavs coach Avery Johnson, who unlike Collins is much better suited to an NBA sideline than an NBA broadcast.

Curry was hired last June to replace Flip Saunders, who was fired after alienating the veteran core of a team that had advanced to six consecutive Eastern Conference finals and won the NBA title in 2004. Under Curry, the Pistons went 39-43 in a season that began with Dumars trading Chauncey Billups to Denver for Iverson's $22 million expiring contract, a move that sent the veteran Pistons reeling from their perch atop the conference. Curry had to endure a juggling act with Iverson, Rodney Stuckey, and Richard Hamilton, and alienated Hamilton by sending him to the bench in favor of Iverson.


UPDATE: There was no evidence that the Curry-Hamilton relationship was anywhere close to healing. One person connected to the situation said an article this week in the Detroit Free Press, in which Curry took more swipes at Hamilton, may have been the tipping point in Curry's firing.

But while Curry had to deal with the headaches from the Iverson trade, he will not reap the rewards. Dumars is set to go shopping for one or two major free agents at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, armed with the cap relief from Iverson's and Rasheed Wallace's contracts coming off Detroit's books.

The stunning announcement of Curry's firing sends a clear message that Curry and Dumars didn't agree on the direction the team will take in its efforts to rebuild. Bulls free agent Ben Gordon is believed to be at the top of Detroit's list of free-agent targets, which begs the question of what will become of Hamilton, the franchise's lone remaining star. The Pistons also are widely expected to make a run at Orlando free agent Hedo Turkoglu.

 
 
 
 
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