Malaka Of The Week: Bill Laimbeer


Bill Laimbeer was the ultimate hiss-provoking cartoon villain of the 1980’s NBA. He was the biggest asshole on the jerkiest great team of all-time, the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons. I never thought I would have the opportunity to crown this loathsome creep malaka of the week but thanks to James Dolan and Isiah Thomas it has fallen into my lap like a rotten satsuma. I could have selected Dolan and Thomas as co-malakas but I’d rather beat on the ultimate white goon. And that is why Bill Laimbeer is malaka of the week.

Here’s the lowdown on these lowlifes:

You know what they say: There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Especially in the WNBA, where there’s usually no such thing as publicity.

So New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer is fine with former Detroit Pistons teammate Isiah Thomas being hired as team president, despitethe baggage he brings with him.

As in, how can a man once named in a sexual-harassment lawsuit — like Thomas was when he headed the New York Knicks — be tasked with running a WNBA team? To say it raised some eyebrows …

But Thomas and Laimbeer were no strangers to controversy during their Bad Boys days with the Pistons.

“The spotlight is on the Liberty — that’s OK by me,” Laimbeer told the New York Post in a telephone interview. “People are talking about the Liberty — now it’s detrimental. But people will pay attention — how are they doing, getting better, getting worse? I’m sure some people will want us to get worse. I never ran from that stuff. …

“(Team owner) James Dolan is involved, talking about us. That’s a great thing for the Liberty.”

Laimbeer didn’t address the 2007 sexual-harassment suit by former Madison Square Garden executive Anucha Browne Sanders. He told the Post that he didn’t know how his Liberty players would react but said they’re fine with Isiah coming aboard.

Yeah, that’s what they told you, Bill. You’re the head coach, and they told your ignorant, wingnut ass what you wanted to hear. The whole scenario is more surreal and horrifying than a Clive Barker novel.Now that I think of it, Laimbeer kinda reminds me of Pinhead.

Here’s the deal: Isiah Thomas was a great point guard but he’s a horrible human being and an even worse basketball executive. Only a malaka of Laimbeer’s caliber could think this is remotely okay. Team mates stick together or some such shit. Shit is what Laimbeer, Dolan and Thomas are full of.

In his time in the NBA, Laimbeer was the biggest braggart and blowhard in the game. He and his fellow goon Rick Mahorn were known as the “bruise brothers.” The latest Dolan-Thomas mishigas has badly bruised the WNBA’s image. Putting Isiah in charge of a women’s basketball team is *almost* as bad as putting Gary Giltter in charge of a girls soccer league. Not quite as horrendous but just as icky.

Melissa Jacobs wrote a spot-on piece for the Guardian urging WNBA players to denounce the Thomas hire:

 The WNBA’s New York Liberty issued a stunning announcement last week. Isiah Thomas, one of New York City’s highest-profile sexual harassers, was joining the organization as president and part owner, subject to approval by the WNBA’s Board of Governors. In 2007, a jury found that Thomas, then the president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, sexually harassed a team executive amid an environment of sexually amplified behavior, and that she was fired after reporting Thomas to Knicks owner James Dolan. She was awarded $11.6 million.

Not surprisingly, Thomas’s hiring by the Liberty has been met with bafflement and outrage. Nearly every member of the media believes that Thomas doesn’t belong in the WNBA. The Women’s Sports Foundation wrote an emotional open letter to the Board of Governors demanding that the WNBA use its authority to set an example for children and not bring Thomas into the fold. Fans are equally disgusted. As the Board prepares to schedule an ad hoc meeting to decide whether or not to approve the Thomas hire, raucous dissent has come from almost every corner. Except one.

No WNBA player, coach or owner has publicly condemned the hiring of Thomas.

I hope that will change. It’s like hiring a convicted wife beater as the director of a battered women’s shelter. Bill Laimbeer played with Isiah Thomas and they won two championships together playing dirty, lowdown basketball. The so-called Bad Boys thought that all publicity was good  too. Laimbeer was wrong then and he’s wrong now. And that is why Bill Laimbeer is malaka of the week.