In his first day on the job, new New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher said he has more than enough experience to succeed on the bench and help end the franchise’s 41-year championship drought.
“I am experienced,” the 39-year-old Fisher said Tuesday. “Basketball is a game that I am experienced in playing, understanding, leading in, guiding in, helping another group of people achieve the greatest gift in the world as a professional athlete, and that’s being a champion.
“That I have experience in, and that’s the experience that I plan on sharing with these players, sharing with this organization.”
Fisher was officially announced by team president Phil Jackson as the Knicks coach in a news conference at the team’s training facility on Tuesday. The Knicks did not release terms of the deal. Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that Fisher and the Knicks were in the process of finalizing a five-year, $25 million agreement.
Fisher’s relationship with Jackson is believed to be one of the factors that led him to New York. Fisher won five titles while playing in parts of nine seasons for Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“That’s why I’m here,” Fisher said. “That’s why I took advantage of this opportunity, to be a part of that process. … We know without a doubt that we can re-establish what that means, what that is.”
“Derek has a long, laundry list of coaches that he’s worked under and had a tremendous amount of success and we welcome him,” Jackson said.
Jackson initially sought Steve Kerr for the Knicks’ vacancy, but Kerr accepted an offer to coach the Golden State Warriors instead.
Kerr was unquestionably Jackson’s top choice. Jackson revealed late last month that he had a verbal commitment from Kerr before Golden State began negotiating with him.
Once Kerr chose the Warriors, Jackson focused his efforts on Fisher, who played in an NBA-record 259 playoff games and won an NBA-record 161.
Fisher, an 18-year veteran who also served as president of the National Basketball Players Association during the 2011 lockout, isn’t the first point guard to go straight from the playing floor to the bench.
Click here to read more.