by TIMMY JOSEPH Staff Writer
Derek Fisher, five-time NBA champion, was assigned the head coaching position for the New York Knicks on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Fisher retired from his playing career just nine days before getting hired by the Knicks. He is the second player to accept a coaching job immediately after retiring from the league, the first being Jason Kidd when he was offered the head coaching job at the Brooklyn Nets last year.
The Knicks offered a five-year, $25 million dollar contract to Fisher; he accepted on Monday, June 9, the day before he was introduced as coach.
Fisher was the 24th overall pick by the Lakers in the 1996 NBA Draft. He was a five-time champion who played in the league for 18 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Fisher has a great relationship with current Knicks president Phil Jackson, as he played for Jackson in his first 13 seasons where he won four out of his five titles.
Jackson, known as the “Zen Master”, spoke of his relationship with his newest coach: “Today marks the next step of this journey for the New York Knicks franchise as we name Derek to lead the team as its head coach. Our relationship began 15 years ago, and over time, it has come clear to me that he and I can form a great partnership once again.”
The Knicks were in need of a new coach after Jackson fired former coach Mike Woodson. They were heavily interested in hiring Steve Kerr, an ESPN broadcaster and former NBA All-Star.
Although it seemed as if Kerr was sure to sign with the Knicks, he shocked the world by turning down the New York offer and accepting a deal with the Golden State Warriors, who were also in need of a new coach.
The Knicks were without a coach and turned to Fisher, who gladly accepted the position and opportunity to work alongside his former mentor.
Freshman Akash Patel said, “As a Knicks fan, I was shocked when Kerr didn’t accept our offer, but I trust Fisher to get the job done for us this season.”
Fisher is not a newcomer to a front office environment as he was the president of the NBA Player’s Association from 2006-2013. He played a key role in ending the NBA lockout in 2011.
Fisher is now the 26th head coach in Knicks franchise history.
Freshman Mitchell Joseph said, “Derek Fisher has a history of winning. He won five in L.A. and I think he can bring one to New York. Fisher’s championship mindset added to his relationship with one of the greatest coaches of all time and a rebuilt Knicks roster, is a recipe for success.”
The Knicks had a less than stellar season last year as they finished with a 37-45 record and failed to make the playoffs in a below-average Eastern Conference. They looked to change their outcome this year with a new head coach and president.
Do you think Derek Fisher as a coach will make a change for the Knicks?