Now the biggest question is will the Knicks respect the former five time NBA champion?
Fresh off the playing court to the bench, Fisher will have his hands full trying to get the respect of the Knicks locker room. It’s a lot easier as a player, but now he has to get through to a superstar like Carmelo Anthony, a loose cannon like J.R. Smith and the rest of the players.
That’s going to be easier said than done.
Several people have their doubts about when Fisher speaks, if the Knicks players will listen, the New York Post’s Marc Berman reports.
Fisher’s speech-making skills are good for dreary lockout meetings and introductory press conferences. But this is what one Thunder insider told me during the conference finals:
“The thing that worries me about Derek as a coach is it’s one thing to give speeches as a player because it’s unique,” the source said. “But the players don’t want to hear long speeches from the coach every day during the season. Players may roll their eyes. Hopefully, Phil will guide him there.’’
One person close to Fisher also told Berman that the Knicks new coach “has the ability to talk a lot but not really reveal anything.’’
When it is all said and done, Fisher will likely run into some problems initially as a first-year head coach.
But Jackson is committed to Fisher. He’s not committed to any of the players on this roster. They aren’t his guys, well I guess except Lamar Odom.
If guys don’t immediately take to Fisher, Jackson has the ability to move them and likely will. If it takes making an example of a player or two to send a message, which is something that Jackson will have to do.
At the end of the day though, Fisher’s biggest job is commanding the respect of the Knicks locker room.
We will see if he can do so right off the bat.