The Knicks will hold a press conference at their practice facility on Tuesday to announce Derek Fisher as the team’s next head coach.
Fisher has played in 1,287 games regular season games and another 259 playoff games. He played his last game in the NBA on May 31. He has never coached.
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterSuch a hire isn’t much of a shocker, though Fisher’s quick acceptance of the position is a bit surprising. A four- or five-year contract offer (ensuring some sort of stability in the Big Apple) will allow the first-time head coach to get settled in. One could also argue that as Jackson puts his stamp on this roster, issuing more time is better. It takes away the pressure and, instead, sets the table for everyone else to remain patient.
As a five-time NBA champion, floor general, and a well-trained Jackson pupil, Fisher undoubtedly represents the best candidate out of those the Knicks were said to be considering.
Fisher’s coaching staff is expected to be comprised of what should be considered a Jackson/triangle offense all-star mentoring squad.
This is a solid move, if not the more flashy one some fans might’ve expected when Jackson was named President of the Knicks. Jackson gets his guy as head coach, and will likely be able to reel in a few of his buddies and past players as assistants as well.
Perhaps more importantly, however, Fisher will have plenty of familiarity with those who are poised to fill his staff. This may ultimately be Jackson’s show to run, but Fisher will be able to lean on experienced mentors like Rambis and/or Cartwright, while also relying upon past proven teammates such as Fox and/or Walton.
The chemistry this group will have is sure to be fantastic, and hopefully, that’s something that will ooze out across the rest of the Knicks’ roster.
Harris DeckerWhile he wasn’t my first choice, Fisher is a great fit for this position. As Kerr would have done, Fisher will become Phil Jackson’s right-hand man, his court general and likely his shepard of the triangle.
It’s hard to look at Fisher and not think of the Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Kidd. Kidd got off to a rough start as a rookie head coach after playing just months earlier. Now Fisher will transition from gym shorts to suits as Kidd did. Don’t be surprised if Fisher gets off to a slow start, but I think he’ll be the right guy for the job.
Sam SpiegelmanWell, we’ve expected this to become official for quite some time now. Another Kerr-esque move would’ve been devastating for the fan base. However, Fisher fits the same sort of mold as Kerr — a former Jackson point guard who Jackson is confident can run the team. It also doesn’t hurt to have Jackson close by.
Fisher is a cerebral player. He’s well-spoken and a consummate pro. I have no doubt he can be a leader among men.
It has always been my opinion not to hire a first-time coach, though. But that theory has been put to rest over the years, as we’ve seen Mark Jackson and Jason Kidd go from rookie coaches to guiding teams to the playoffs in no time. Like Fisher, both Jackson and Kidd were point guards, who I believe make the best head coaches.
Honestly, I was very high on Kerr being the Knicks coach. When a bunch of teams seem to covet someone, I immediately think they’re the guy for the job. The Lakers had interest in Fisher, and they need a strong hire. And I think Phil Jackson knows what he’s doing here. After all, who was he going to bring in — Mike Dunleavy, really?
I’m anxious to see what it’s like to have Fisher manning the sidelines. I’m curious to see how this impacts Carmelo Anthony. And now that a coach has been hired, what roster moves is Jackson plotting? This is the first of many steps for Jackson to prepare the Knicks for contention in 2014.