Wednesday, 11 June 2014
COURTSIDE COLUMN-Coach Fish
0.4. Forget a New York minute for a second. In what seemed like a fraction of time, the former number 2 point guard of the Los Angeles Lakers went from a coaching consideration in Hollywood to being snapped up by L.A.'s former Head Coach, Phil Jackson from the front offices of Madison Square Garden. That's right New York City, in the core of the Big Apple your new coach of the Knicks is playoff, big shot, clutch legend Derek Fisher. Now with rumours rife of former Laker role playing legends Rick Fox and Luke Walton suiting up in assistance. It seems like the Knicks are the new Los Angeles Clippers in taking Lakers alumni and making them their own. Especially with Queensbridge New Yorkers Lamar Odom and Metta World Peace in the N.Y.C. mix. Now with all these loss Lakers and the former showtime of STAPLES, looking to replace Mike D'Antoni and find a new man to lead them back to the Hollywood hills of the promised land its time they go fish. In their long halls of alumni fame names like Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis and former coach Mike Dunleavey Snr could help the show go on but what about the man that has arguably won them more big playoff games in a matter of seconds then Robert Horry and Kobe Bryant combined?
Matter of fact the New York Knicks have only won 40 playoff games compared to Derek Fisher's 161. You want to talk about on the job experience? This guys got it in treasure troves. Now the franchise that has reached out to one of the role playing faces of their Walt Frazier, Willis Reed and Earl the Pearl championship days of the seventies are relying on the eleven rings championship certified pedigree of former Chicago Bulls and Lakers coach, Phil Jackson. Still as much as this team would love and prefer to have the new Pat Riley of the front office down on the sidelines, they have more championship proven experience in one of Jax's loyal and best players Fisher. Coming straight off an almost championship run with one of the West best Oklahoma City Thunder, Derek takes the job that was first offered from Phil to fill to former Bulls three point gunner Steve Kerr. Still with Kerr now taking the reigns off former New York City point guard Mark Jackson for the Golden State Warriors job opening out in Oakland, its up to another primetime big shot point to lead the way by example out in downtown Manhattan. With one of the best Point Guards of all time and a Maverick champion Jason Kidd straight out of the playing frying pan and into the coaching fire in Brooklyn, we now have a classic new chapter to add to the new Nets/Knicks rivalry and fight for N.Y. in the form of a veteran, point guard playing champs bout. The all-star versus the role player, two big time players of experience in an epic match, both wet behind the ears of the dry erase. The ties are off for two guys who could still suit up to play. So who will be able to keep theirs on as these two structures scrape the skies of success? Now as a coach, Fisher is a rookie again like we where back against that photo wall in 1996. Still, just like Kidd don't bet against this veteran making a great coach. Besides even Phil Jackson knows that role players make the best coaches.
From the way he played stepping it up in the crucial clutch keys of the game to the way he "coached" as a player in support from the sidelines (even the words of his farewell diary blog serve as knowledge and inspiration of the game spoken like a true coach when he wasn't even one) this man has been preparing for this new role since he was 9 years old. That's his word. Speaking of which a certain clutch crouched speech during the 2009 Laker finals against Dwight Howards Orlando Magic was as big as a play as one of his trips on the floor downtown. Thinking of Howard, the signalling of the second Laker death of a dynasty wasn't when Dwight left like fellow super big man Shaq did back to Florida in 2006...which Fisher knows all too well. It was actually when the core of Derek, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom departed that the championship caliber left with them. Again as sad as it is to say goodbye to Derek Fisher as a player its amazing to say hello to him as a coach. Now this former player president with the association behind him looks to have just as much pull and attraction then his greatest coach of all time boss. First former teammate and troubled Lamar Odom can be brought around with his former championship circle to ring the changes and hopefully bring him back to the floor spreading player he was, like no other. Then there's former teammates Kevin Durant and even Kobe Bryant who are among the LeBron James (way to reignite that old Heat/Knick rivalry) names the Knicks are chasing. If one of them replaced, let alone joined the cities Carmelo Anthony then things could get championship, dynasty crazy. The biggest city in the world could be the greatest basketball one. The former joke could have the last, Larry legend legacy laugh. Still before we get too ahead of ourselves it all starts with the bottom line of Fisher. One that looks set to cast out some championship bait himself. The man that used to take the charge is now in charge and this team is in some safe point guard hands. Not only can this guy lead, but he can win and now the city is his its time to add some more rings to that other hand. Here's to you Coach Fisher...you have the floor. TIM DAVID HARVEY.