Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Tuesday, June 10, the morning that Derek Fisher is being officially introduced as the new head coach for the New York Knicks.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd were doing battle as starting point guards for contenders in the Western Conference.
Now they will match wits as the head coaches for New York City’s two NBA entries.
Fisher was officially named head coach of the Knicks this morning, about a year after the Brooklyn Nets hired Kidd almost as soon as he had taken off his Knicks’ uniform for the last time.
Fisher, 39, played 18 years in the NBA and was part of five championship teams with the Los Angeles Lakers, while also spending time with the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks.
He was a late first-round selection by the Lakers in 1996 out of Arkansas-Little Rock, going 24th overall, and played sparingly as a rookie, averaging 11.5 minutes per game. By the next season, however, he was a regular member of the Lakers’ rotation and started 36 games.
Fisher fits the profile for a player turned coach; never a superstar, Fisher averaged 8.3 points, three assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game while shooting .399/.374/.817.
He’s also not shy about giving the New York media something to run with.
“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.”
It’s fairly obvious that Fisher will install the triangle in New York and I wish him well on that. While that offense carried Jackson to 11 NBA titles as a coach, there is no evidence of it working without either Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant playing in it.
Just ask Tim Floyd how well it worked out for him when he followed Jackson—sans Jordan, Scottie Pippen or anyone else associated with the title teams with the Chicago Bulls.
Want a newer example? See Kurt Rambis’ tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The thing that killed the triangle for those coaches and those teams was a lack of passing big men.
And given Anthony’s iso tendencies—something that can break down the triangle faster than a geometrician’s eraser … well, good luck with that, Fish.
The Daily NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association, along with a look at the daily lines for those who want to drop a buck or two on a wager. But first, some of the greatest moments from Game 3s in the NBA Finals: