The New York Knicks officially hired 18-year NBA veteran Derek Fisher as their new head coach on June 10.
The New York Knicks have officially hired 18-year NBA veteran Derek Fisher as their new head coach.
The Knicks introduced Fisher in a June 10 press conference, per ESPN New York's Ian Begley:
"In his first day on the job, new New York Knicks head 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,' Fisher, 39, said Tuesday. 'Basketball is a game 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 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 said his relationship with Jackson was one of the driving factors that led him to New York. Fisher won five titles while playing 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.'"
Fisher also said during his introductory press conference that he means business as the Knicks new head coach, per ESPN New York.
"This is not a ceremony. This is not for PR. This is not for Phil and I to hang out again as friends. This is to go to work, get our job done...We want to add more banners to this ceiling in here as we all continue to come back to this building on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis.
"I thank you all. I look forward to working with you all, in helping re-establish the New York Knicks as not only the best team in New York, but as one of the best teams in the world."
The New York Times' Richard Sandomir wrote about how Fisher became an attractive candidate for team president Phil Jackson in his June 10 article:
"Fisher and Jackson already know each other well. Fisher ran Jackson's triangle offense in Los Angeles well enough to help win five N.B.A. championships for the (Los Angeles) Lakers. When Steve Kerr, Jackson's first choice to be the new Knicks coach, opted to stay on the West Coast and coach the Golden State Warriors, it was not a surprise that the 39-year-old Fisher would become an attractive Plan B.
"Still, Jackson had to wait until the team Fisher was still playing for, the Oklahoma City Thunder, was eliminated in the Western Conference Finals.
"At that point, Jackson was able to begin recruiting a person he described on Tuesday as a clutch performer, a strong voice in the locker room, a person who could reason with his teammates when the coach could not and who carried the added stature of having led the players union during the challenging moments of the 2011 lockout.
"'I like the fact that he's current with the players,' Jackson said of Fisher, noting that his own playing days were long ago, when any number of people including Jackson, were listening to the Grateful Dead. But that was then, Jackson noted, and Fisher is now.
"'He's hip-hop ready to get going with this group of guys and their language,' Jackson said. 'That part of Derek resonated with me.'
"Fisher takes over the Knicks a season after they fell, through injuries and dysfuntion, to a 37-45 record, a drop-off of 17 wins from 2012-13. Having come aboard before season's end, Jackson quickly fired Mike Woodson as coach once the season was over.
"Now, the Knicks are faced with finding a way to keep Anthony from opting out of his contract July 1 to become a free agent or, if he does, to persuade him to stay with a new long-term deal.
"Whether the persuasive powers of Jackson and Fisher will be enough to keep Anthony is uncertain. Jackson, seeming to take all the uncertainty in stride, joked that at a meeting that he planned to have 'in the near future' with Anthony and his representatives, he would have Fisher 'wear all five of his rings.'
"Still, Fisher sounded a bit resigned to the prospect of Anthony's leaving, saying,'I have to be prepared to coach the players we have.'"
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