Rehired after getting fired: New York Liberty rename Bill Laimbeer as head coach

LOS ANGELES (July 23, 2014) - New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer talks to media postgame.
LOS ANGELES (July 23, 2014) – New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer talks to media postgame.

After a disappointing two seasons of missing the playoffs, the New York Liberty fired head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer in October. However, in a flip-flop that gives Laimbeer his third chance to coach a WNBA team, the franchise rehired the NBA legend.

“Our goal is to ensure that the Liberty return to their position as one of the most consistently competitive and successful teams in the WNBA,” said Liberty senior vice president Kristin Bernert in a statement. “We spent a great deal of time on how to move forward to ensure both immediate and long term success, and kept coming back to Bill. He’s had tremendous success in the WNBA, and we are confident that he is the right coach to help deliver a winning franchise for our fans.”

In his two seasons with the Liberty, Laimbeer compiled a 26-24 overall record. He acquired three-time All-Star center Tina Charles last season but the team still missed the playoffs. Previously, Laimbeer spent eight seasons (2002-2009) with the Detroit Shock (now Tulsa Shock) as head coach and general manager, earning WNBA Coach of the Year honors in his first full season as head coach (2003). Laimbeer led the Shock to a 137-93 (.596) overall record, including six-straight playoff appearances and three WNBA Championship, in 2003, 2006 and 2008, respectively.

“I am proud to be leading the New York Liberty behind the bench, and believe that great things are ahead of us,” said Laimbeer. “I came to New York talking about building a championship culture – and remain committed to that goal as head coach. I am thrilled to get started on the upcoming season.”

A 14-year NBA veteran (1980-94), Laimbeer was a four-time All-Star center for the Detroit Pistons.

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