Bill Laimbeer has never been one to pull his punches. Laimbeer, head coach for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, is a man who speaks his mind.
Which brings us to his post-game comments Sunday after his team has been beaten by the Lynx by 31 points at Target Center.
Laimbeer, whose team was shorthanded, was not surprised by the loss. He was not surprised by his team’s difficulty at scoring at times. But he was surprised – and, apparently, a bit upset – that Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve left star Maya Moore on the court so long.
“I was a little disappointed they left Maya Moore in the game just to try to get player of the week again, when the game was out of control,” Laimbeer said. “She should get hurt for that.”
This is a very interesting comment, on a couple levels.
First, Laimbeer and Reeve go way back. Reeve was Laimbeer’s assistant when the Detroit Shock was going to three straight WNBA finals and winning two a few years back. This was the first time the two met as head coaches of opposing teams.
Second, the Lynx have a rematch with the Liberty, in New York, Aug. 27.
Moore was last week's Western Conference Player of the Week. Sunday she finished with a season-high 28 points, hitting 11 of 17 shots – six of 10 from three-point range – while playing 36 minutes and 18 seconds, nearly six minutes more than any teammate. Moore scored eight fourth-quarter points before being taken out of the game with 3:42 left, moments after hitting her final three-pointer of the night.
It will be interesting to see how the second chapter of this emerging rivalry goes later this month.