Derek Fisher might be playing in the playoffs for the Oklahoma City Thunder right now, but there is a decent chance that he will soon become the next coach of the New York Knicks. According to a report by ESPN, “all signs point to Derek Fisher being the favorite to land the Knicks head coaching job at this point.”
While it’s rare to see someone go directly from playing to being a head coach in the NBA, Fisher’s long career seems to have culminated in him being more than qualified to lead a NBA team. He’s been a floor general, veteran leader and a coach on the court for the better part of the last 18 years. He was the leader for a Los Angeles Lakers team under current Knicks president Phil Jackson, who seems to be more than okay with Fisher’s lack of coaching experience.
Jackson had the following to say last month about the Knicks coaching search.
We’re looking for a leader…Someone who can bring out the best in players, someone who has the capability of encouraging the staff to meet the needs that players have, that philosophically join in, they buy into what we’re doing.
Could you ask for a better match here? Being a current player, Fisher knows full well what it would take to communicate with youngsters on the bench. After all, this is something he’s been doing since Bill Clinton was president. That’s the type of experience that doesn’t come along all too often.
While there might be questions about Fisher as a strategist, there is little doubt that he will get the most out of his players. Interestingly enough, Fisher may end up being a better option than former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who has also been linked to the Knicks.
If Phil Jackson decides to go for some new blood that will follow his philosophy as the head of the Knicks, Fisher is likely the best possible candidate. It’s now all about getting the deal done and moving on.
Photo: Mark D. Smith