Knicks introduce Fisher as head coach

 

The Sports Network

Greenburgh, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Derek Fisher was introduced as the new head coach of the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Fisher, who just completed his 18th NBA season as a player, replaces Mike Woodson, who was fired shortly after the conclusion of the 2013-14 regular season.

The 39-year-old Fisher played 10 seasons under Knicks president Phil Jackson when the latter was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2011 and was a part of five NBA championship teams during that time period.

"Today marks the next step of this journey for the New York Knicks franchise as we name Derek to lead the team as its head coach." Jackson said at a press conference. "Our relationship began 15 years ago, and over time, it has come clear to me that he and I can form a great partnership once again."

Jackson got his guy by moving quickly, perhaps too quickly. He publicly expressed interest in his former player -- then still competing in the NBA playoffs with the Oklahoma City Thunder -- last week and drew a $25,000 tampering fine by the league for the comments.

"I was going to have a wardrobe as nice as Derek's, but the NBA took my money," Jackson said jokingly Tuesday.

Fisher, however, wasn't Jackson's first choice to be Woodson's successor, as Steve Kerr spurned an offer from the Knicks in favor of the open Golden State job last month. Kerr also played under Jackson during the Chicago Bulls' championship runs in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Fisher will be the second player to immediately step into a head coach's role immediately following the conclusion of his athletic career in as many years, with the crosstown-rival Brooklyn Nets tabbing Jason Kidd as their sideline boss last June.

"I look forward to sharing my experience with my players, and helping to reestablish a championship culture," Fisher said.

Fisher takes over a Knicks team that reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2012-13 but compiled a disappointing 37-45 record this past season, triggering Woodson's dismissal.

Bringing a championship back to New York is one of the main goals for the 26th head coach in franchise history. The Knicks are still searching for their first title since 1973.

"We want to add more banners to this ceiling in here," Fisher said.

The Knicks hope to retain the services of Carmelo Anthony, who is expected to test free agency.

"We want him to be here, but ultimately he has that choice," Fisher said.

Fisher averaged 8.3 points and 3.0 assists over 1,287 career games with the Lakers, Warriors, Jazz, Mavericks and Thunder.

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