Derek Fisher hired as Knicks head coach
New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has hired Derek Fisher as the 26th head coach in franchise history.
“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.” Jackson said. “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.”
"I have not been a head coach in the NBA, college or high school. But I am experienced. I am experienced in playing the game ... and being a champion," said Fisher at the team's press conference today, according to the New York Daily News. "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…Every experience I had in the world of basketball all leads to this moment."
Fisher, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010) recently retired after an 18-year playing career with Los Angeles, Golden State, Utah, Dallas and Oklahoma City, finishing 16th on the NBA’s all-time regular season games played list (1,287) and first in playoff game appearances (259). He averaged 8.3 points and 3.0 assists over 25.4 minutes during regular-season play, including a 5.2-scoring average in 81 games for the Thunder this past season.
"I’m excited to embark on the next phase of my basketball career and look forward to coaching a Knicks team that fans can be proud of,” Fisher said. “It’s an honor to work alongside Phil Jackson, who is both a legend and friend as we strive together to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to New York.”
The 39-year-old Little Rock, AR native won five NBA championships as the starting point guard of Jackson’s team in Los Angeles during the 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010 Championship playoff runs, and also won a fifth ring serving as a key reserve in the 2000 title run. Fisher authored one of the more exciting moments in NBA Playoff history hitting the game-winning shot with :00.4 left in a Game Five win over San Antonio during the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals.
Fisher served as president of the National Basketball Player’s Association from 2006-13 and played a pivotal role in ending the 2011 NBA lockout. He played four seasons at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and was originally selected by the Lakers in the first round (24th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft.
"We know without a doubt that we can re-establish what that means, what that is," said Fisher today, according to the New York Daily News. "All I've heard about is how special this city can be when the Knicks are winning. I experienced it on the West Coast and I'm looking forward to doing it on the East Coast. We want to add more banners to this building…We know without a doubt we can reestablish it."
“Derek Fisher is a strong, smart, charismatic man and he will do great in New York. He has always been composed and I expect he will shine as head coach of the NY Knicks. It is not surprising he will be one of the youngest coaches in the NBA – he has always been driven and will do very well in this role. He can handle the pressure of NY – and all of us in NY hope he will shine in this role,” said Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Agency based in New York and Los Angeles that represented Fisher for several years during his playing days.