UPDATE: The Knicks are reportedly hiring Fisher as their head coach on a five-year, $25 million deal.
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
As the summer winds on, it’s seeming more and more likely that Derek Fisher will end up on the New York Knicks sidelines next season. Phil Jackson has been fined for talking to his former point guard, and Fisher himself has admitted that coaching is most likely in his future. After more rumors of the Knicks ramping up their pursuit of the 39-year old have emerged, many believe it’s only a matter of time before his hiring is announced.
ESPN cites a source who “fully expects” Fisher to be hired by the Knicks in the next few weeks. Jackson might have a plan-B, but it doesn’t seem like it. In fact, Fisher is probably plan-B. Steve Kerr was the man for job by nearly all accounts until he took his talents to Golden State, so you have to think the Knicks are all in on Fisher at this point. So, is he the right man for the job?
I believe he is in the long-term. Maybe Fisher is a future all-time great coach. Who knows? But the odds are that he’ll struggle at first, especially considering the state of the Knicks. Even if Carmelo Anthony stays, New York is not a playoff team. There’s tons of work to be done in the Big Apple, likely years and years worth of work.
The Zen Master knows this, and he’s not about to just hire the biggest/most proven name on the market in hopes of turning things around in 2014-15. Jackson is likely thinking three or four years down the road, and in that type of scenario, Fisher makes sense.
He’ll be a coach that grows along with the team, which is fine as long as the players are young and willing to learn. He’s not the kind of guy who should be in charge of a bunch of proven veteran players trying to win a title.
At this point I don’t know what other direction Jackson and the Knicks would go in. At the same time, if Fisher thinks he has more value as a 40-year bench player, he’s mistaken. His value at this point is on the sidelines. He just needs a chance and some guidance. What better place than with the Knicks to get both of those things?