Prior to playing for the Detroit Pistons and then becoming a successful WNBA coach, Bill Laimbeer spent a season playing a sleestak on the hit TV show "Land of the Lost".
He played one of the nearly 7 foot reptile creatures in the show's first season in 1974. The green villains are still some of the most beloved characters in the three-year cult classic.
"We had to wear wetsuits and full face masks and everything," Laimbeer said. "We ought to be their enemies and basically hissed only on the show, it was a lot of fun."
California-born Laimbeer said he was being recruited by UCLA and USC at the time, and they said he should try to go for the show because they were looking for tall, athletic men.
"It was just money, people on TV only work 20 minutes a day," Laimbeer recalled. "It was a lot of fun and a good experience, especially when you were 18 years old."
Former performers Kathy Coleman (Holly) and Wesley Eure (Will), who starred in the series, came to Las Vegas Aces & # 39; s Shootaround Tuesday morning, surprising Laimbeer and the team. The duo was at a convention in town starting on Wednesday.
"Bill was the most popular sleestak," Eure said. "We had a reunion a few years ago and he could not do it because he had a different commitment."
Your and Coleman had costumed Sleestak heads that Laimbeer laughed at. Your presented Laimbeer a work of art that was signed by most other Sleestaks in the show.
"When the Sleestaks came on the show, they launched and became # 1 on NBC," Eure said. "They made sure they could never catch us so as not to scare the children." A & # 39; s Wilson, the Aces star, said Laimbeer showed the team's stills one day in a movie session, but it did not really hit her how big the show was by Tuesday.
"One day he showed us how to film he dressed," Wilson said. "We did not know who he was, we saw his name in the credits with William Laimbeer, it's cool to know that your coach was an actor once."