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Laimbeer joins Liberty as general manager, coach

NEW YORK (AP) - Bill Laimbeer returned to the WNBA on Thursday as the New York Liberty's general manager and coach.

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The former Detroit Pistons star led the Detroit Shock to three WNBA titles and was 137-93 as the team's general manager and coach from 2002-09.

``I am very excited to return to the WNBA, and for the opportunity to join the New York Liberty,'' Laimbeer said. ``I missed the competitive fire of players like Cappie Pondexter and Plenette Pierson, two hard-nosed competitors for the Liberty. The commitment of our fans and the city will be invaluable in our quest to bring a WNBA championship to New York. After all, that's really all that counts.''

Laimbeer replaces John Whisenant. In two seasons as general manager and coach, Whisenant had a 34-34 record and led the Liberty to playoff berths.

``We're excited to have Bill Laimbeer join the New York Liberty as our general manager and head coach,'' said Allan Houston, the New York Knicks' assistant GM who oversees the Liberty's basketball operations. ``He has brought his winning pedigree and passion to the WNBA and I believe he will play a large role in bringing a championship to the Liberty. We appreciate Coach Whisenant's dedication to our team and the organization, and wish him well in the future.''

Terms of Laimbeer's deal with the team weren't disclosed.

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