Five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher hired as head coach of WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks
Derek Fisher is back in L.A., but this time as a head coach in the WNBA
Derek Fisher has a new head coaching gig in Los Angeles.
While it won't be running the Lakers, the five-time NBA champion has been hired as the new head coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, as he was named the 12th head coach of the franchise on Wednesday.
Fisher, who had a disastrous run as New York Knicks head coach during his first coaching gig, released a statement regarding his hiring by the Sparks.
"I'm excited to be the new head coach of the L.A. Sparks," Fisher said in a statement. "There is no finer organization in the WNBA and I can't wait to work with our ownership group, front office, talented players and staff to cement a culture of sustained excellence, which is what L.A. basketball fans demand -- and deserve."
Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker also expressed excitement at getting to play under Fisher.
"Derek is a great basketball mind who brings a ton of high-level experience to our team," Parker said. "I look forward to working with someone with championship pedigree and who has a track record of strong leadership. Derek has been a strong supporter of women's basketball for quite some time, so it's nice to officially welcome him."
Fisher went 40-96 during two seasons (2014-15, 2015-16) as the Knicks' head coach. He didn't even last the entire 2015-16 campaign as then-president of basketball operations Phil Jackson fired his former player after a 23-31 start. What was Fisher's downfall? Probably the fact that he was forced to run the triangle offense, a system he wasn't fully behind, but a concept that Jackson wanted instilled despite the league thriving on three-pointers in the pace-and-space era.
Following his firing from the Knicks, Fisher admitted he didn't prepare himself well enough for the gig. Via Mark Fischer of New York Daily News.
"I wasn't smart enough to ask the right questions going into taking and accepting the job," Fisher told FS1. "What are you going to expect of me? Do I have to run the triangle? If I don't want to run the triangle, is that going to be a problem for you? Those are things I wasn't prepared to do coming straight from being a player. Steve Kerr was prepared to do that. Which is probably why he didn't take the job in New York. He knew how to ask those questions coming from the place of experience that he's been in Phoenix and just maybe just being out the game a little longer than I. So I put myself in a tough position to start."
The former Lakers point guard will inherit a Sparks team that recently lost in the semifinals of the playoffs. Their last head coach, Brian Agler, stepped down after four seasons at the helm. He led the team to the 2016 title and is the only coach to lead two different franchises to a WNBA title.
Fisher is best known for his 18-year NBA playing career, which included a 13-year tenure with the Lakers and stints with the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks.
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