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The Knicks Go Fishing

by Daniel Gerbick on Saturday, June 14th, 2014

New York KnicksThe basketball world has been wondering how Phil Jackson was going to manage the Knicks while holding on to a coaching style that has garnered him eleven NBA Championship rings, now we know.

It’s was logical move, and most writers seem to be nodding in approval of Derek Fisher’s being given a fat $25 million contract for five years to serve as head coach of the New York Knicks. Fisher and Jackson go way back, and they have had a winning history together.

It has been a long waiting period for Knicks fans since Mike Woodson was fired back in April after missing the playoffs this year. Steve Kerr, widely known as an excellent basketball courtside color commentator, was reportedly Phil Jackson’s first choice for the lucrative head coaching job in America’s biggest marketplace, New York City, but that didn’t work out.

But Mr. Kerr preferred the sunshine of the west coast to the hype of the Big Apple and opted to accept the position with the Golden State Warriors where he will get to coach Stephen Curry and his increasingly potent Warriors squad. When Kerr backed out on Phil Jackson, the Zen Master began to check his of players who were familiar with his system. Fisher was high up on the list from day one.

In fact, Phil Jackson got hit with a $25,000 fine for ‘tampering’ just for mentioning Fisher’s name as a possible candidate for the coaching job while he was still under active contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Adam Silver has always been a tough administrator.

Jackson, of course, had to find someone also wedded to his famous ‘triangle offense’ and all the rest of the program that has made his teams so successful over the years. In Derek Fisher, Phil looks like he got just what he was looking for.

Derek Fisher has never coached before in the NBA.  But then again neither has Steve Kerr, nor for that matter had Jason Kidd before taking over the Brooklyn Nets last season and doing a very respectable job of it. So the precedent has been set.

Derek Fisher played under then head coach Phil Jackson when they were in Los Angeles with the Lakers. First a five year stint from 1999-2004 and then again from 2007 until 2011 with Fisher playing as the starting point guard along with Kobe Bryant and Shaq O’Neal, so those two should be on the same page from day one.

This match just might work out.

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