Cappie Welcomes the Bill Laimbeer Era



Ros Gold-Onwude

What did you think when you heard the announcement of Bill Laimbeerís hire?

By the time the season comes around Iíll already be like a mid-season vet in that I am already somewhat familiar with coach Laimbeer and his system. Iíve been around a while, Iíve been in the league 8 years, and Iíve actually had the opportunity to play against him. I won my first championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2007 against his Detroit Shock team. I know what his teams are about, and that toughness and hard nose play is what heíll bring to New York. Heís a proven winner. People want to be associated with that and I trust he will bring the right pieces to New York.

More than likely there will be changes to the Liberty roster, how do you approach the loss of players and friends?

Iíve been around long enough to understand that you might not play with the same people for a lot of years. You have to keep in mind that relationships donít change. At the end of the day itís about winning a championship.

Coach Laimbeer expressed interest in developing you into a scoring point guard. What is your comfort level with that?

Iím skilled enough to play both point guard and shooting guard. This isnít the first time Iíve heard this. Every coach wants me to play point guard. At the ďoneĒ position Iíd be a big point guard. Iím sure coach would want me to score from the one. That is a challenge sometimes. I tend to forget about myself at the one. That is one thing I have to work on. I will watch video during this offseason of some point guards like Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams.

How do you predict you will respond to a highly demanding coach?

I like a coach that is demanding, however, I hold high standards for myself. The most important thing is how your coach brings confidence to you. Itís good when your coach backs you up and sees the same things you see. It works both ways. He is the leader, and as point guard, you are the extension of him on the court.

What are you working on in the offseason? Where does a first team WNBA All Star improve?

Well I will continue to be who I am - continue to lead this team and to be smart. Currently I am focusing on improving in the weight room, working hard, working smart. Iím working with a conditioning coach to stay strong and build my muscles more than I ever have before. I will come back at a completely new level of fitness. By playing in both the WNBA and overseas, its important to have my conditioning level where it needs to be because I will be playing all year.

Do you think that Laimbeer can be the guy to lead New York to a championship?

Yes, I believe so. I really do. Bill is a perfect fit for New York and the Liberty.