Let’s face it: We have no idea whether or not Derek Fisher will be a good head coach. New York Knicks fans are hoping that Phil Jackson’s hunch pays off, and there are plenty of reasons to believe it will. But based off the Knicks’ needs, Fisher would be a better fit still wearing a jersey rather than a suit.
Admittedly, this is more an indictment of the Knicks’ shortcomings than a praise of Fisher’s skills. But it demonstrates New York’s catastrophic point guard rotation that a 39-year-old whose only remaining skill is three-point shooting might be an upgrade.
Fisher is no help on defense; he’s probably still wincing in pain from the screen Tim Duncan set on him at the end of Game 6. But it’s not like he could make the defense any worse. The Knicks already make Brandon Knight look like Bob Cousy.
New York wanted Fisher as a coach, but the teams needs him as a player. Maybe he can channel his inner Bill Russell and do both. Fisher has always been a dependable floor general who was never afraid to step up and take a big shot. That’s something the Knicks don’t have on the court.
Time and time again, their usually solid offense will whimper into the realm of the pathetic in fourth quarters. Four players stand around hoping Carmelo Anthony creates something (one of the many reasons he probably won’t be a Knick next season). Everyone on the roster is afraid of crunch time.
Fisher is no Walt Frazier. At this point in his career he’s not even Charlie Ward, but at least he has the cajones to make a play under pressure. That courage he brings on the court with him is contagious, and the Knicks are in desperate need of an attitude adjustment.
Replacing Raymond Felton with Fisher at point guard would be like overthrowing Joseph Stalin and installing Augustus Caesar. I’m not sure what “sham classes” Felton took at North Carolina, but they probably included “Destructive Behavior 101”, “Advanced Pouting” and a senior thesis on “Blaming Something That Was Entirely Your Fault on Someone Else.”
Fisher is the exact opposite as a person, and those qualities are what makes him a good leader and probably will make him a good coach. But the Knicks need players who think the same way. Instead, they have their best point guard option coaching and their best coaching option as the team president. Go figure.