Bill Laimbeer's not around to torment Mike Thibault with nicknames this time. But coach Thibault, whose Connecticut Sun have advanced to the WNBA Finals for the second consecutive season, will again don a live microphone for each game of the championship series.
Sacramento's John Whisenant, the league's Coach of the Year, also will be mic'd throughout the best-of-five WNBA Finals, which open at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Wednesday (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET). Games 1, 2, and, if necessary, Games 4 and 5, will be on ESPN2. Game 3 will be aired on ABC.
ESPN's and ESPN2's WNBA coverage this season has included a handful of games where coaches and/or players wore live microphones. Laimbeer unleashed one of the more memorable moments during a July 30 telecast between Detroit and Connecticut. Ten days after he and Thibault had exchanged a mild, postgame verbal altercation, Laimbeer greeted Thibault with a wide grin and a "Hey, Mikey ... have some fun out there, Mikey," as the two walked by each other pregame.
Starting Wednesday, viewers will again get to hear what the coaches are saying to their players and refs with it all on the line.