Nine days ago, Derek Fisher was playing a playoff basketball game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Today, he was announced as the 26th head coach of the New York Knicks. Standing in front of the menacing New York media, Fisher held his own during his introductory press conference filled with bold statements after bold statements.
Fisher started off by mentioning that he’s played for a numerous amount of great coaches. Not only does he name coaches such as Phil Jackson, Scott Brooks, Jerry Sloan, and Don Nelson, he also mentioned coaches from his high school years and prior. He continued on by thanking Jackson, Steve Mills, and James Dolan for the opportunity.
“This is an amazing city, an amazing community,” Fisher said. ”There are many families from around the world, immigrants, people that come to this city for hundreds of years, come for an opportunity. To create something new. To open a business. I look forward to bringing my family into being a family of New York City.”
Fisher continued, “We know without a doubt that we can establish that [a championship team.] We will be committed to being the best.”
His overall press conference was smooth and he knew the right words to say, à la Phil Jackson. He’s here for business, and he let everyone know. He continued on by answering questions, including one that asked about his experience. How did he respond?
“I am experienced. Basketball is a game that I am experienced in. Playing, understanding… and being a champion,” Fisher said.
The MSG Network had a plethora of tidbits that were included in Fisher’s name graphic that showed why Jackson made the move to sign him as the coach: five-time N.B.A. champion with the lakers, played nine season under Jackson, and played in 259 playoff games (the most in N.B.A. history.)
Another reporter asked if Fisher will reach out to former players that became head coaches, despite not having any experience. Fisher said, “I’ve always been a student of the game. I’ve paid attention to the trends of the league.”
Finally, Fisher said something on turning the New York Knicks around. “This is not a ceremony. This is not for PR. This is not for Phil and I to hang out as friends again. We’re here to do work.”
Welcome, Derek. Let’s go to work.