Apr 8, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher (6) drives past Sacramento Kings guard Ray McCallum (3) in the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Fisher Will Impact Multiple Areas of the Knicks


The New York Knicks finally have their new coach. After long speculation about who from Phil Jackson‘s “inner circle” would land the job, Derek Fisher has locked it down.

Some people love the hire, while others point to his lack of coaching experience. Fisher is coming straight from the floor to the sidelines without any time away from the game or as an assistant. Last season, we saw the exact same thing happen with Jason Kidd.

Did it work out perfectly? No, but in the end I think we can all say he did a pretty darn good job.

Fisher coming in as the new head coach will impact the Knicks in more ways than people can imagine. As an 18-year veteran, Fisher has been known for his locker room presence and leadership skills.  He really stood out in the leadership department in the role he took on during the NBA lockout. It is not surprising at all that he is becoming a coach immediately after playing.

One area that Fisher will improve with the Knicks is the culture and leadership in the locker room and on the court. Multiple players last year lost faith in Mike Woodson and even began questioning decisions he was making. That attitude will kill any team and create the wrong atmosphere for a winning team.

In his introductory press conference, the first year coach kept repeating on how he will change this culture into a championship mindset. The guy has won five rings and they all happened to be with his new boss, Jackson, so I think he should succeed with that.

Another area where I believe Fisher can thrive is his relationship with the players, especially Carmelo Anthony.

For 13 years, Fisher was the point guard for one of the greatest players to ever play the game, Kobe Bryant. In his final years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Fisher played alongside superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. His familiarity with working with the games top players should allow him to develop a good relationship with Melo.

Fisher understands what it takes to win; the motivation, the toughness, and the leadership skills can rub right off onto Anthony.

Installing an actual system on offense and defense this season will be where he (and Jackson) have the biggest impact with the team.

Last year, at any point in the game, it was difficult to figure out what the Knicks were trying to do at either end of the court.

The only set in stone strategy was switch on every pick defensively and that Melo would take the first shot of the game from the right elbow. Other than that, I found it nearly impossible to figure out what the Knicks were doing most possessions.

The good news is Fisher will be heavily influenced by arguably the greatest coach of all time, and he will also have experience with discipline and execution of the triangle.

One particular aspect of the Knicks that was a glaring weakness this past season was the point guard play. Fisher playing the position for 18 NBA seasons only helps with the development of the current guards on roster. It is not an easy position to play in the triangle offense, but again Fisher played the position successfully for 13 seasons and wound up with five championships.

All this won’t happen overnight so Knicks’ fans need to be patient.

I know its frustrating being patient because Knicks’ fans are going on 41 years of championship drought, but there is a new regime that will need time to bring in the team they want.

They are off to a good start with a new young coach, now it’s time to focus on Melo.

Tags: Derek Fisher New York Knicks