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LA Sparks hire former USC coach Henry Bibby
By RYAN PEARSON, Associated Press Writer
April 7, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Sparks hired Henry Bibby as head coach, giving him a new start in Southern California less than a year after he was fired from USC.

Sparks general manager Penny Toler said the team wanted someone without WNBA experience.

``It's LA. We want something new and we want something fresh,'' she said Thursday. ``He has a confidence that can lead this team, because we have a lot of big, strong personalities on this team.''

Bibby, hired Wednesday, got a two-year deal but terms weren't disclosed. The former NBA player and father of Sacramento Kings guard Mike Bibby was fired four games into last season after two losing seasons in a row.

He led USC for eight seasons, including 2000-01, when the team went 24-10 and made it to the regional final in the NCAA tournament. His overall record at the school was 131-111.

``I'm excited to be the coach and I'm happy to be in a position where I am wanted and where basketball comes first,'' Bibby said in a statement.

The team is centered around Lisa Leslie, the WNBA's Most Valuable Player last season after she led the league in rebounds (9.9) and blocked shots (2.88) and finished third in scoring (17.6).

Last month, the team traded forward DeLisha Milton-Jones for three-time All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, who averaged 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in six seasons with the Washington Mystics.

``We feel we have a championship team, and we wanted to put somebody in that's been there and done that,'' Toler said. ``I like his style, because his style even at 'SC was race up and down the floor, a fast-breaking team.''

Sparks coach Michael Cooper resigned last July to become a Denver Nuggets assistant. The team was led by interim coaches Karleen Thompson and Ryan Weisenberg through last season, finishing 25-9 but losing to Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs.
 

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This is just plain nuts. Toler and the rest of the management in LA have lost their minds. A disaster in the making, especially with a player as sensitive/volitile as Holdsclaw coming in as a new player.
 

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First of all he has no experience coaching women. He was fired last December, just four games into the season, as the coach of the men's USC team. He is noted as someone with a short fuse...and a disciplinarian.

The questions regarding his success in LA have to do with how the Divas on the Sparks will respond to him. He may have learned some valuable lessons over the last four months...his firing was most unexpected. Many say he is a perfectionist, but I don't see that as a problem for coaching the likes of Leslie and Holdsclaw...they may well imbrace that aspect of his coaching. His last full season at USC was not memorable in the wins column, either.

The LA basketball organization is in mess right now. The Lakers did not make the playoffs for the first time in many years and they even changed coaches during the season. They have waited until 10 days before the WNBA draft to even name a coach...while there has been more free agent movement this year than in any other. They did do the Milton-Jones/Holdsclaw deal, but who knows how Mique will respond to this coach. She has yet to find one in the W that she could work with for any period of time.

Interesting, at least.
 

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Whoa! LOL. Calm down girl. :biggrin:

I just wanted to know why you thought it was a disaster. I went over to the ESPN board, and they pretty much agree with you. I, personally, think it's a great move by L.A. Maybe a change of scenery and a great new teammate...and coach is a good idea for Meek. We'll see...
 

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Considering the draft is a week away and training camp is just around the corner.... the best news is they really have a coach. I believe Karleen and Ryan were better choices than Henry Bibby but they weren't "sexy" enough for the Buss family.

Have they named his assistants yet? This will make a huge difference. I wonder how Nikki Teasley will respond to Henry Bibby. In my opinion, she is the "fragile" one... not Mique. Teasley worked well with Michael Cooper but I am expecting an EXPLOSION between Teasley and Bibby.

First TV Game of the year? LA at Seattle on ABC 5/21 4 PM ET. We will get our first look at Bibby, Mique as a Spark, and the new look Champs the "Storm". I can't imagine that Anne Donovan is happy losing Kamila, Tully, etc. But the salary cap is starting to have a major impact on this league.

I am excited about the season beginning but could care less about the draft.
 

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4ever_bball_fan said:
How will Teasley respond to Bibby??

How about :rolleyes:

I can just just those big bug-eyes of hers, rollin' round and round.

How about Nikki Teasley is a professional and will probably respond well to him.


=
 

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Cometsbiggestfan said:
How about Nikki Teasley is a professional and will probably respond well to him.
Nikki was coddled by Michael Cooper and doesn't respond well to "Bully-type" coaches, which is Henry Bibby's reputation. Unless Henry Bibby becomes a different type of coach now that he is coaching women, I really believe we will see Teasley become unwound.
 

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It will be Bibby's first time coaching women. From his youth camp experience, he said he thought female players were "more focused when they play, they learn quicker, they're not all over the place like the guys."

Bibby said he already developed an offensive scheme for the Sparks, but was still working on his plan for defense. He challenged players to prove themselves.

"The best players are going to play. You earn your playing time in practice. And everyone has to show me that they deserve to play," he said. "I'm not going on last year or the year before. I'm not really concerned about that. I'm concerned about who is in condition, who's going to play hard."

The Sparks are centered around Lisa Leslie, the WNBA's Most Valuable Player last season after she led the league in rebounds (9.9) and blocked shots (2.88) and finished third in scoring (17.6).

Last month, the team traded forward DeLisha Milton-Jones for three-time All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, who averaged 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in six seasons with the Washington Mystics.

"We feel we have a championship team, and we wanted to put somebody in that's been there and done that," Toler said. "I like his style, because his style even at SC was race up and down the floor, a fast-breaking team."

Sparks coach Michael Cooper resigned last July to become a Denver Nuggets assistant. The team was led by interim coaches Karleen Thompson and Ryan Weisenberg through last season, finishing 25-9, but losing to Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs.
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/sports/11338315.htm
 

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Teasley wasn't even mentioned in the article. Trouble is brewing.
 

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This is certainly an interesting move.

I wonder who else the Sparks looked at to hire.
 

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From what I know about the Sparks, they are a good offensive team. Adding Holdsclaw will just make them even a bigger offensive force.

I don't like the fact that Bibby has already developed an offensive scheme for the team, before even the conferring with the players, especially for the pg of this team.
 

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spongyfungy said:
From what I know about the Sparks, they are a good offensive team. Adding Holdsclaw will just make them even a bigger offensive force.

I don't like the fact that Bibby has already developed an offensive scheme for the team, before even the conferring with the players, especially for the pg of this team.
I've heard that Henry Bibby can be, uhh, somewhat thick headed at times...
 
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