Spike Lee is (probably) jumping for joy as reports have confirmed today that 5-time National Basketball Association champion Derek Fisher had signed a deal to become the New York Knicks' newest head basketball coach.
Fisher, whom many thought was playing in his final year of basketball and were questioning what he might do next, confirmed the suspicions with the announcement today after speculation began to run wild. Fisher is being hired by the Knicks' Phil Jackson, who coached Fisher in Los Angeles and he played along side some of the NBA's best, including Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Pau Gasol.
If that news didn't get your mind to semi-explode, NBA Insider for Yahoo! Sport Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out the doozy of a deal for Fisher, who only a week ago was wearing a Thunder jersey:
Derek Fisher is finalizing an agreement on a 5-year, $25 million deal to become the Knicks coach, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 9, 2014
News of Fisher being part of the Knicks head coaching search had been circulating for months, as USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt reported back in late March:
If indeed TNT analyst and former NBA guard Steve Kerr, who played for three of Jackson's championship Bulls teams, wants to coach, he is the front-runner, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation."
But one other name to consider, if Kerr doesn’t end up as coach: Derek Fisher, who could end up with the Knicks either as a coach or front-office executive."
Fisher has zero experience coaching an NBA team, but that’s OK. If Jason Kidd can come in, fresh onto the season as a retired NBA player can take the Brooklyn Nets to the second round of the 2014 playoffs in his first season, then anything is possible. Also, it was reported that Kerr turned down the Knicks' coaching job in favor of the Golden State Warriors, leaving the opening for Fisher in NY.
Knicks fans and followers appear to be pleased:
Derek Fisher fits exactly what Phil Jackson wanted; played for him, knows the triangle, won't feel threatened by Phil on the practice court— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 9, 2014
1. This is exactly what Phil Jackson wants-- an inexperienced, familiar guy amenable to being mentored and who will permit a lot of Triangular influence from above. Jackson, as far as we can tell, wants to coach as much as possible without having to travel or pace the sidelines. This is an unorthodox setup, but Fisher has presumably been chosen because he is, among other qualifying attributes, okay with it.2. There's no salary cap for coaches. Fisher's salary affects nothing but James Dolan's giant sack of gold coins.