NEW YORK: Derek Fisher, who played 10 of his 18 NBA seasons under coaching legend and current New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, was named yesterday as the Knicks’ new coach.
The Knicks will pay a reported $25m over five years for Fisher, a five-time NBA champion point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers who follows cross-town rival Jason Kidd of the Brooklyn Nets as players to step directly off the court into an NBA head coaching role.
“Today marks the next step of this journey for the New York Knicks franchise as we name Derek to lead the team as its head coach,” Jackson said.
“Our relationship began 15 years ago, and over time, it has come clear to me that he and I can form a great partnership once again.”
Fisher won titles with the Lakers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010 and leads the NBA in career playoff appearances with 259.
“I’m excited to embark on the next phase of my basketball career and look forward to coaching a Knicks team that fans can be proud of,” Fisher said.
“It’s an honor to work alongside Phil Jackson, who is both a legend and friend, as we strive together to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to New York.
“There’s no question that Phil Jackson’s presence here was a huge part of the decision.”
Fisher was given the task to try and rebuild a Knicks squad that reached the second round of the 2013 playoffs but went 37-45 last season.
The Knicks last won the NBA title in 1973.
“I learned a great deal from one of the greatest coaches in the game,” Fisher said.
“I look forward to sharing my experience with my players and helping to reestablish a championship culture.
“I look forward to this as much as I did anything in life as a professional.
The Knicks, who are trying to keep superstar Carmelo Anthony from departing as a free agent, fired coach Mike Woodson shortly after the end of a disappointing 2013-14 season in which they failed to make the play-offs.