By Angel L. Quiles Jr.
Former Los Angeles Laker Derek Fisher agreed to a 5 year, 25 million dollar deal with the New York Knicks yesterday. Fisher will be the Knicks 26th head coach in franchise history, and 9th coach since they lost in the Finals in 1999. Fisher won five championships as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers, and is coming off his seventeenth and final N.B.A. season as a player.
Fisher is from Little Rock, Arkansas and his southern hospitality, and charm shown through during his first press conference in New York. He was eloquent and exuded confidence that only a man who is a champion, and confident in himself can provide. Asked how he felt about being the New York Knicks new head coach? Fisher said, “It an honor to work along Phil Jackson”
It is an honor to have a man coaching the Knicks with championship pedigree. Someone who will not pull any punches, and can prove the value and result of hard work. Throughout his career Fisher has been an underdog. Fisher said, “I have not always been the fastest, the tallest, or the most talented, so I had to work harder than everyone else” This is the mantra that must be instilled in the New York Knicks. The Knicks absolutely stunk this past season, and did not make the playoffs in a year where the last seed in the Eastern Conference had a losing record. In a year their best player had his best season, they couldn’t muster a .500 record!
Phil Jackson has made a good hire. Fisher is a strong man mentally and physically. He has experience leading men to victory on the court, and at the bargaining table as former leader of the N.B.A. players association. He knows how to handle huge egos something he learned playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. He can handle pressure and the big stage. He has a great personality, and contains the intensity of a Cobra bite. He is suited for the media vultures, and the bleacher creatures of New York. Hopefully he can bring back the championship D.N.A. New York once had.