Detroit Pistons

Laimbeer: From Shock To Pistons?

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 14:  (L-R) Katie Smith, Bill Laimbeer and Arron Afflalo of Detroit pose with the trophy after winning the Haier Shooting Stars on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 14, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Ian EnosCorrespondent IJune 30, 2009

The question is bound to be asked.  Will Bill Laimbeer end up on the sidelines of the Palace for yet another season?

There was a time when it seemed like a natural line of succession in Detroit,  Carlisle to Laimbeer, then Brown to Laimbeer.  But with the hiring of Flip Saunders, chatter concerning Laimbeer coaching the Pistons went from muffled to silenced.

The situation certainly is convenient.  Laimbeer recently resigned from the WNBA's Detroit Shock to seek an NBA coaching position.  Now, the team he is most associated with has parted ways with its head coach.

As much as I like Bill, and as good a coach as I believe he can be, it pains me to say that I just don't see it in the cards.

I have a hard time believing that the Pistons would fire a coach that had been a former Pistons player with no NBA coaching experience to make the move to a former Pistons player with no NBA coaching experience.

I'd like to be wrong on that point, but it doesn't make a lot of sense, even considering Laimbeer's superior coaching pedigree when compared to Curry a year ago.

More likely, the Pistons will look to a coach with significant NBA experience.  They might reach out to former coach Doug Collins, who flirted with the Bulls last offseason, but the better bet is that they take a good, hard look at Avery Johnson.

Johnson preaches defense, a road the Pistons have travelled before.  The last time they went down that path, it led them to a championship, and don't think that Joe Dumars has forgotten that.  He's won a lot of games in the NBA, been to the finals, and his philosophy seems to jive with that of Dumars.

There are any number of other dark horse candidates that might be considered as well, but looking out upon the coaching landscape, Collins and Johnson seem to tower above the competition for a team that truly believes they are a player or two away from a return to glory.

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