One of the more clutch shooters of this generation is officially taking his talents to the sideline.
After a stellar 18-year career, Derek Fisher is exchanging his jersey and sneakers for a suit and clipboard, as he agreed to become the new head coach of the New York Knicks on Monday evening. Fisher’s contract will be worth $25 million over the course of five years. Fisher will finish his career averaging 8.3 points and 3 assists per game. Fisher also played in an NBA record 259 career playoff games, and won an NBA record 161.
For the Knicks, this move has Phil Jackson’s imprint all over it. After failing to get Steve Kerr, Jackson went with another point guard from one of his championship teams. Together, Fisher and Jackson won five titles in Los Angeles during the 2000s. Fisher and Jackson have a familiarity with each other that should make them the perfect fit together in New York.
After the Knicks let go of Mike Woodson, the talk was that Jackson wanted a former player that he could mold into an image of his own. While this will be Fisher’s first experience as a head coach at any level, Fisher is known for having one of the highest IQ’s in the league, and he will get an opportunity to learn from one of the great coaches in sports history, a man for whom he has a great deal of respect for and vice versa.
Now that the Knicks have their head coach, they will turn their focus onto resigning Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is expected to opt out of his contract in the coming weeks to test free agency this summer. There are a plethora of teams interested in acquiring Melo, including the Los Angeles Lakers, who are reportedly holding off on hiring a head coach until they pursue potential big name free agents like Melo and LeBron James, and the Houston Rockets, who could offer several players in exchange for the 2013 scoring champion.
One has to wonder how much, if at all, the signing of Fisher will have on Melo’s desire to stay in the Big Apple.
The press conference introducing Fisher will take place Tuesday, at 11:30 A.M.