Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire believes the most important factor for his rookie head coach is to be a disciplinarian and “put your foot down,” (Newsday, June 10).
“For the young players who are not as professional as they should be, I will look for him to put his foot down and really be firm about his teaching strategy and even for veteran players who don’t want to buy into it, you got to put your foot down,” Stoudemire said.
Stoudemire said establishing discipline with his new team is the most important thing for Fisher – though he also added that Fisher’s history with Phil Jackson could help in earning the team’s trust. Fisher played in five NBA championship teams with the Lakers under Jackson.
“I think with Phil having his back, that gives him more of a role of sort of being a disciplinarian,” Stoudemire said. “Whatever Phil thinks works, I’m all with them and on board with it. Phil has a pedigree of winning and if he feels that’s what’s needed to win, then I’m down for it.”
Though Fisher doesn’t have any prior coaching experience, Stoudemire has few concerns about playing for a coach who was recently an active player himself.
“For some guys, it might be an issue,” Stoudemire said of Fisher’s recent history with the Oklahoma City Thunder. “But with me, I’m just a pro who wants to play the game of basketball at a high level. At this point, I know what it takes to be successful and to win.”
But it is that time on the court that gives Stoudemire confidence in the Knicks new coach. He expects Fisher’s work ethic to directly translate over to his coaching style.
“It’s going to take some time for him to get around the organization and the team a little bit and figure out how everything works,” Stoudemire said. “But once it’s time for training camp, we should be able to kick it in full motion.”