It’s amazing how long bad feelings about Bill Laimbeer linger: no one much liked the guy.
When Scott Goetsch came to Duke in the 1970s, he had played against Laimbeer in high school and had had his fill.
John Feinstein, writing in his book Forever’s Team, told a story about Duke and Notre Dame in the 1978 Final Four. Goetsch, who was an excellent back up but who didn’t play a whole lot, was agitated on the bench and kept saying “Laimbeer sucks! Laimbeer sucks! Laimbeer sucks!”
Then as soon as he got in he hit an outside shot in Laimbeer’s face and taunted him afterwards.
It’s a revealing and predictive vignette and over the years we saw NBA players make clear their feelings about Laimbeer as well. Larry Bird retired in 1992 and still hasn’t gotten over him.
Odds are Alonzo Mourning hasn’t either.
The long-time NBA big man is more or less minding his business here when Laimbeer bumps into him, then escalates things by punching Mourning in the throat.
Then he makes his mandated exit with a one-fingered salute to the Charlotte faithful.