Well, well, well. For the second season in a row, we will have a guy who played in the league the previous season coaching a New York team. Last year we saw Jason Kidd make the transition from player to head coach, and had a somewhat successful first year. I expect much of the same, if not more success, from Fisher. The guy is an absolute veteran in every sense of the word. Kind of a no brainer for Phil Jackson and the Knicks once Steve Kerr took the Warriors job instead of going to the Knicks. Fisher has a long-standing relationship with Phil, something that was essential in Phil’s search for a new coach, he knows the league and the people playing in it probably better than anyone, seeing as he has been playing in it for the last 18 seasons, he is a proven champion, accumulating 5 championship rings over his 18 years, and although that was much in thanks to Shaq and Kobe, Fisher wasn’t just a nobody in those series. Everyone remembers “the shot” he hit over Manu Ginobili in a pivotal game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals. And if by chance you don’t, well here’s a little refresher.
Straight MONEY. Probably one of the craziest last 30 seconds to playoff game. Just dagger after dagger after dagger. Not only does he have that game winner on his resume, but he also has played in an NBA-record 259 playoff games and won an NBA-record 161. AND he’s tied for third on the career list for 3-pointers in the NBA Finals. So, basically my point is the dude is as experienced as they come. He has the heart of a champion and he is the kind of guy who can come in to a new team and he will command every single players respect from day 1. Not a guy in the league who doesn’t already respect the shit out of Fisher. Now, does this mean that the Knicks will finally end their championship drought? Fisher thinks so, but I’m not exactly sold at the moment. There’s a couple teams in the East that will be quite the task to get by, like I don’t know, the Heat, the Pacers. Not to mention the teams out West that will have something to say about that. But I’d say it all starts with what happens with Melo. I love Melo, always have. The knock on him has always been he doesn’t play defense and isn’t a guy who is going to win you a championship. While that first part is mostly true, he did win it all as a FRESHMAN at Syracuse, and although the NCAA is a much different playoff system then the NBA, he still got it done, so I still have faith that he has that fire in him. And lets not forget that he is statistically the most clutch player currently in the NBA, making the highest percentage of game winning or tying shots in the last 24 seconds of a game. So I think the Knicks need to keep Melo and build a team around him, and I think Fisher and Jackson know that, and will do just that. Definitely will be interesting to see. I hope they make it work, the league is just better when a large-market team like the Knicks is relevant. Best of luck Derek.