Knicks News and Rumors: Five Biggest Challenges Facing New York Knicks Coach Derek Fisher
It came as no surprise that New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson chose Derek Fisher this week as his new head coach.
Jackson coached Fisher for 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Together, they won five NBA championships. Fisher is also very familiar with the triangle offense, which Jackson has implemented successfully in both Chicago and Los Angeles. With Fisher coaching in such a terrible Eastern Conference, what's not to love?
But despite the positives, Fisher also faces more than his share of obstacles as he seeks to clean up a messy situation in New York as the Knicks look to rebound from a disappointing season en route to a future NBA championship. Here's five issues that still remain unanswered that Fisher faces in the Big Apple:
1. Lack of Experience
Fisher is a really nice guy, a great leader, and a terrific basketball player. But can he coach? That remains to be seen. Fisher has never coached at the college level, let alone in the NBA, so it's reasonable to be skeptical on this $25 million signing. Former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson was available for hire after leading the team to three consecutive playoff appearances.
2. Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks were 37-45 last season with Anthony. Imagine how hard Fisher's job would get if Anthony decided to leave? Anthony currently has a player option in his contract and can choose to leave if he desires. Anthony might be from New York, but he may want to join a more powerful and stable team that is closer to a championship, like the Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, or the Miami Heat.
3. Phil Jackson
This is really going to be an interesting experiment. Similar to Fisher not having any coaching experience, Jackson has never been a team executive before, either. Jackson may have 11 NBA titles as a head coach, but he's not going to be the one calling plays or deciding on starting lineups come game time. Having had so much past success, Jackson may want to offer his advice to Fisher on a regular basis. Let's hope the two don't disagree too much.
4. New York Pressure and Fans
It's been a long time since the city of New York celebrated an NBA Finals Championship -- 41 years, to be exact. Phil Jackson was actually a member of the 1973 squad that defeated the Lakers in five games. Since then, the Giants have won four Super Bowls and the Yankees have captured seven World Series. Even the Mets have won a title since then. The pressure is on the Knicks to deliver the goods and finally raise another championship banner.
5. James Dolan
Dolan is the majority owner of the Knicks. We've seen this before, where an owner doesn't give enough power to a coach, i.e. Jerry Jones and Mike Brown. If Dolan tries to do too much and not let Jackson make decisions, it could spell disaster for Fisher. If Fisher and Jackson are on the same page, as most expect they will be, maybe Dolan will finally trust others, managerially speaking.
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