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WNBA: Detroit Shock Exchanging Bad Boys

By Mel Greenberg

Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer, coach of the WNBA defending champions, is leaving the team after leading the bunch from the Motor City to three league titles, and will be replaced by assistant Rick Mahorn, according to a source familiar with the move.

The team will make the announcement early Monday afternoon.

The Detroit Free Press also reported Laimbeer's impending departure in Monday's editions.

Assistant coach Cheryl Reeve, a former La Salle star in Philadelphia in the late 1980s and a native of South Jersey, will be elevated to the top assistant spot and will also be named general manager.

Although Laimbeer, who coached Detroit for 6 1/2 years, has had aspirations to head an NBA squad, he is heading off to the golf course for now, the source said, requesting to remain anonymous because they were not yet authorized to speak on behalf of the team.

Mahorn is a former 76er and is also a former member of the NBA Detroit "Bad Boys" championship era as was Laimbeer.

When Laimbeer took over the squad early in the 2002 season, the Shock had a deep losing record and were considered on the road to disolvement.

But he convinced the Pistons ownership to retain the team and the following year produced a worst-to-first turnaround as Detroit dethroned the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Sparks in an exciting best-of-three series that began with the Shock being routed in Los Angeles in the opening game.

-- Mel