On Tuesday, NBA veteran Derek Fisher took on New York, saying he’s prepared and excited that his first NBA coaching job is with the New York Knicks — two weeks after playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I am experienced,” Fisher, 39, said at a press conference. “Basketball is a game that I am experienced in playing, understanding, leading in, guiding in, helping another group of people achieve the greatest gift in the world as a professional athlete, and that’s being a champion … and that’s the experience that I plan on sharing with these players, sharing with this organization.”
Knicks president Phil Jackson introduced Fisher at the team’s training facility Tuesday. Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that Fisher and the Knicks were in the process of finalizing a five-year, $25 million agreement.
Fisher’s relationship with Jackson was a key factor that led him to New York. Fisher won five titles while playing in parts of nine seasons for Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“That’s why I’m here,” Fisher said. “That’s why I took advantage of this opportunity, to be a part of that process. … We know without a doubt that we can re-establish what that means, what that is.”
Jackson, who originally offered the job to another former player, Steve Kerr, said: “Derek has a long, laundry list of coaches that he’s worked under and had a tremendous amount of success, and we welcome him.”
Kerr accepted an offer to coach the Golden State Warriors, spurning Jackson and the Knicks after Jackson said they had a verbal agreement. Once Kerr chose the Warriors, Jackson focused on Fisher, who played in an NBA-record 259 playoff games and won an NBA-record 161.
Fisher is an 18-year NBA veteran who also served as president of the National Basketball Players Association during the 2011 lockout.