Sports teams change all the time, and it’s no different here. Did these former Las Vegas athletes leave on good terms? Find out what they had to say about their old teams.
#6 Bill Laimbeer wanted to quit one year earlier when coaching the Aces
There are few things worse than a head coach who doesn’t want to be there. That’s the situation the Las Vegas Aces found themselves in when Bill Laimbeer was still coaching the team in 2021. He admitted as much during an interview and claimed he never wanted to coach again.
“It was an easy decision, but it was hard to implement,” Laimbeer said when asked by ESPN about retiring after the 2021 season. “Last year, it was clear to me — and I think some of the players — that I was running out of energy. I had just run my course in the coaching ranks.”
Despite Laimbeer’s admitted lack of energy, he did help the team to a 24-8 record, which was good enough for another playoff run.
“I’m not ever going to coach again,” Laimbeer said in a video call with media from Las Vegas. “I don’t have that willpower. It’s an all-consuming thing.
#5 Antonio Brown claims he wishes Derek Carr had more control
It’s no secret that the Antonio Brown saga was a weird time in the NFL, but his time with the Raiders was a disaster.
Despite this, he had some positive words about the team on Twitter after his departure. In a tweet, he talked about working with Derek Carr and the kind of person he was. What was interesting about the statement, however, is that it pointed to a lack of control Carr has over his offense.
“He cool great person truly just wish he had more say so in regards of things but he didn’t want AB,” Brown said in a 2019 tweet about his time with the Raiders.
#4 Liz Cambage admits she didn’t want to be in Las Vegas.
Another player with a controversial history is the former Las Vegas Aces center, Liz Cambage. For instance, she was caught yelling racial slurs during an Olympic scrimmage against The Nigeran Women’s team.
She also has been vocal about pay inequalities, calling out the WNBA for paying her new coach, Becky Hammon, 4x more than a player max contract. After three seasons with the Las Vegas Aces, she left for the Los Angeles Sparks. She did, however, have some parting words for her team in an interview with the New York Times.
“I’m at a point where I’m too old to be in places I don’t want to be,” Cambage said after her exit from the Aces. “I’ve got into a place where I make so much money off the floor that I can take a pay cut to wherever I want to be here in the league.”
#3 Max Pacioretty claims the Las Vegas Golden Knights have no accountability
Many were surprised when Max Pacioretty was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations in July. Of course, Pacioretty was experiencing injury issues for most of the 2021-2022 season, but who would have thought it would lead to his exit? Especially for such a low price.
That confusion might be what fueled Pacioretty’s parting shot to the team, which he gave during an interview with the Raw Knuckles Podcast. He thought the team had a lack of accountability during his tenure there.
“There are good sides to everything,” Pacioretty said. “When I first got there, it was weird that there was no accountability. I’m not talking about the team; I’m talking about everyone. You couldn’t feel pressure coming off anyone else, from the coach or management. I had an awful game, and everyone was saying hi to me. I’m like, ‘Okay, this is a little weird.’ Normally, we walk by each other and stare at the carpet.”
#2 Nelson Agholor says the Las Vegas Raiders could do better
Nelson Agholor signed a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2020 season and was a significant contributor on offense. However, he didn’t have a good time. He even told his teammates as much during a locker room exchange.
According to Reports from The Athletic, Nelson Agholor told his teammates off in the locker room after a terrible loss to the Dolphins. This included telling teammates they outright sucked and claiming they gave up during their last two games. Some believe this is what fueled his exit from the team the very next season.
#1 Rich Bissacia only has kind words about coaching the Las Vegas Raiders
Rich Bisaccia might not be the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach anymore, but he greatly impacted the organization. What makes his time in Las Vegas even more remarkable is what he managed to do. It all started in the opening weeks of the 2021 NFL season when he took over as interim head coach. This was following the Jon Gruden scandal.
No one expected much from the Raiders after this decision, and they seemed like a dead ringer to finish last. However, Bisaccia and Derek Carr held it together, bringing the team to a 7-5 record. It was enough to earn a wild card spot against the Cincinnati Bengals. In an interview with The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bisaccia recently opened up about the season and had nothing but good things to say.
“Last year was a unique year in my career, and certainly with the players and coaches that went along with it,” Bisaccia said. “A lot of credit to the coaching staff I was involved with, how the players approached every day, and what they dealt with.”