Culture of Hoops

Derek Fisher: The “Fish” that saves New York?

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton. Check it often and absorb the knowledge we’re dropping on you!

Derek Fisher remembers being so intimidated by New York City during his first visit here as a player that he spent much of his time inside his hotel room. Well, that same cautious point guard has grown so much that he is now confident that he is the one to lead the Knicks back to prominence.

Fisher reached a five-year deal with Phil Jackson on Monday to become the next head coach of the Knicks. The Daily News first reported the hiring on its website. The Knicks have scheduled a press conference for Tuesday morning where they will introduce Fisher as the first significant hire of the Jackson administration.

Fisher, 39, has zero head coaching experience and is following the same path as the Nets’ Jason Kidd, who went right from playing to the bench last year. According to Yahoo! Sports, Fisher will earn $25 million over five years, which is a deal similar to the one Steve Kerr accepted from the Golden State Warriors.

Kerr was Jackson’s first choice but had reservations about working under Garden chairman James Dolan, who has had seven general managers and eight head coaches, including Fisher, over the past 14 years. Also, it appears as if Dolan was not thrilled with the idea of hiring Kerr, having originally offered him just a three-year deal. Kerr’s former broadcast partner, Marv Albert, later revealed that he warned Kerr about the perils of working at Dolan’s Garden.

Dolan has a better history with Fisher, the veteran point guard who spent 13 of his 18 NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. The two sat on opposite sides of the negotiating table during the NBA lockout three years ago and forged a relationship. Two months after the lockout, Fisher made it a point to embrace Dolan following a Knicks-Lakers game at MSG. New York Daily News

Here’s a gif of Knicks’ fans upon hearing the news of Derek Fisher’s hiring.

Fisher’s head coaching record is 0-0. Outside of running the triangle, no one knows what to expect from a Fisher led team. Is he Phil Jackson’s patsy or a guy looking make his own imprint in the league? The only thing we know about the rest of the coaching staff is that all of them will likely be more guys from Jackson’s circle of superfriends including Kurt Rambis, Bill Cartwright, Rick Fox, and Luke Walton. 

This is a good time to recap what Phil Jackson has done so far.

  • Failed to persuade Steve Kerr to become coach of the New York Knicks.
  • Asked Carmelo Anthony to take a pay cut before showcasing a plan for the extra money.
  • Hired Derek Fisher because … well we don’t know why.

All of a sudden it appears that Phil Jackson did not have a plan when he signed up to become president of the New York Knicks. These same moves would be widely criticized by the masses if they came from anyone other than the Zen Master. We also can ascertain that former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson was going to be fired no matter how well the team finished last season.

It looks like the same mess as prior years with a different sauce on top. Everyone is waiting on the 2014-15 season to end so the Knicks can use their cap room to sign top free agents; the same plan that got them in this situation. No matter which direction this fire blows, it will be fun to watch the burn. – AL

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