Liberty Legend Kym Hampton’s Impressions of Laimbeer
What did the evening’s activities entail?
We spent the evening at a festive place, Dave & Busters. It was a great atmosphere for the holidays, to hold some trivia games, to enjoy some food together and to introduce our new head coach and general manager, Bill Laimbeer.
How did coach Laimbeer’s introduction go?
Bill is amazing with people. A lot of coaches are looking for a quick interview and to be in-and-out. Not Bill. He has so much energy and enjoyed interacting with the fans. He answered questions directly, even tough ones. He is funny and he is good with people.
What was Laimbeer’s message?
He spent time talking about himself, his journey, and how he got into women’s basketball. He discussed having another offer, but explained that New York had appeal in that he already had relationships within the organization, plus, he joked, that the Liberty were simply a better team. Ultimately, after the laughs, he said, “I’m not here just to have a job- I’m here to do one thing: win”.
What was the hardest question coach received?
Mostly coach got questions about what might happen in the future and he answered every question head on. I think the hardest questions/comments were the type where fans said, “I hated you as a player or as a coach….” To which he responded, “I get that a lot. If you hated me, it was probably because my team was beating your team.”
Overall, how did fans respond to coach Laimbeer?
Fans responded so positively. People were psyched at the event. There was a tangible newfound sense of hope in the room. You could look and see it. Laimbeer brings a whole new energy to the table. Fans seemed refreshed.
Why do you and fans believe him?
Number one, his track record. He turned around the Detroit Shock. He’s won as an NBA player, he’s won as a coach. He won championships multiple times in the WNBA. You cannot deny that he is a winner. Next, it’s because of who he is. He is “no-nonsense”. He said, “not everyone can play for me, but those that can are winners”. He demands each player’s best, that players play for the team, and have fun. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you can play by those rules you’ve got a chance to be on the court.
As a former player, how do you anticipate the players will respond to Laimbeer?
I think the players are going to respond in a positive way to Laimbeer. Athletes want to perform well, to rise to the challenge. They will do whatever they can to be a part of this team.
How do you anticipate players will respond to the possibility of big roster changes?
Yes, there may be shakeups to the roster. Laimbeer has made it clear- he wants to get bigger, have better shooters, better drivers. He likes versatility, players who can play multiple positions so that he can go big or small. To play his style, players who want to be on the roster will have to be in shape. He made mention that we never got to the free throw line last season and that he wants to force the action. Players who want to be on the roster have to be able to drive the ball and get to the line. As a player, all you can do is work hard and add skills. Bring to training camp new skills, conditioning, and value to the team.
You’ve been to a lot of these special Season Ticket Holder events; did anything stick out to you about the fans in attendance this time around?
All of our fans are loyal and great. At the event, the level of excitement was very high. So many fans said to me, “you know, I used to not like him, but now I feel we have a chance!” Fans were happy to have Bill, the type of person who looks forward to taking the bull by the horns. It’s going to be an exciting year I think.