The New York Knicks have found their next head coach. According to ESPNNewYork.com on Monday, the Knicks and Derek Fisher have reached an agreement that will make Fisher the latest player to make the transition from playing on the hardwood to coaching an NBA team.
Fisher, who was also rumored for the coaching vacancy for the Los Angeles Lakers, will follow in the footsteps of Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd as players who have taken head coaching positions following a year in which they have played. The Knicks are scheduled to make an official announcement on Tuesday in a news conference at 11:30 a.m.
According to Yahoo! Sports, both sides are working on a five-year, $25 million deal that will solidify Fisher as the head coach and reunite him with his former coach, Knicks president Phil Jackson. It is Fisher’s on-court leadership and championship experience that Jackson hopes translates to the bench and to a team that is trying to make its way back to respectability in the league.
Fisher has played with the Oklahoma Thunder the last couple seasons and finally decided to call it a career after 18 seasons as a player. Fisher talked about his future and his desire to coach after the Thunder was bounced out of the playoffs. He said, “In the last maybe decade or so, I’ve really felt like my purpose in life, my calling so to speak, was to be in a leadership position or some position of impact on other people. Coaching allows for you to positively impact other people’s lives.”
The 39-year-old Fisher could possibly influence disgruntled superstar Carmelo Anthony to remain in New York and could attract other big name free agents. He is also very familiar with Jackson’s coaching style. Fisher became Jackson’s target after his top choice, Steve Kerr, was hired as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors.