The current trend in the NBA is for teams to hire former players as their head coach, but the New York Knicks put an end to that experiment on Monday by firing head coach Derek Fisher. The move comes after Fisher led the team to a 23-31 record this season, following a 17-65 record last season.
While Fisher wasn’t the first former NBA player to be named coach of a team, he is the least productive of them. Steve Kerr has led the new NBA juggernaut, Golden State Warriors, the past two seasons after he took over for Mark Jackson in 2014, and has already won a title with the team. He arguably has a better roster than Fisher did with the Knicks, but that argument only travels so far.
Fisher was supposed to breathe new life into the Knicks franchise and that was the reason that team president Phil Jackson hired him in the first place. But after the disaster of last season, it was apparent that Jackson would have a short leash on Fisher this season, which makes this move less surprising than it could have been.
Jackson made it clear that Fisher did add mental toughness to the Knicks roster though, and he was also always prepared.
“Some of the onus is on the players,” Jackson said. “It’s a lot easier to fire a coach than 15 players. Unfortunately, it’s not always the coach,” via ESPN.
Fisher released a statement and thanked Jackson, MSG chairman James Dolan, his players and also his staff.
“This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed,” Fisher said in a statement. “Obviously, I’m disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it,” via ESPN.
Kurt Rambis will become the Knicks interim coach for now, but his career coaching record is only 56-145 so there is a chance that the Knicks will look elsewhere at the end of the season.
Or Jackson could reach out to a former Bulls player of his, Dennis Rodman, who took to Twitter and said he was available.
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) February 8, 2016