On Tuesday, the New York Knicks finally made the hiring of a new coach official when Knicks’ president Phil Jackson named Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Derek Fisher head coach.
Many have questioned the hire of Fisher, citing the fact that he is going straight from the court to the bench. The Brooklyn Nets did the same thing with Jason Kidd last year, who retired from the Knicks and immediately became head coach of the Nets. After a rough start, the Nets improved throughout the year and won their first-round playoff series over the Toronto Raptors before they were defeated by the Miami Heat in the second round.
Although many will still criticize the lack of experience Fisher has, he disagrees with that notion.
“I am experienced,” Fisher said in his most emphatic statement of the day via Jared Diamon of The Wall Street Journal. “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.”
Fisher also seems excited to work with his former coach.
“We have a transition to make from being coach-player to now executive-coach, and that’s a different relationship,” Fisher said. “We have some learning to do from that respect. But I don’t actually see the problem in having one of the greatest ever to do what you’re trying to do want to come down and help you a little bit.”
Fisher has been one of the league’s most respected players for years for some time. He also has experience dealing with playing, having served as the NBA Players’ Associated President. Fisher has averaged 8.3 points, 3.0 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game over the course of his 18-year career.