It was 10 years ago that Derek Fisher had his most memorable on-court moment, the miracle buzzer-beater shot for the Los Angeles Lakers that beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
Now Fisher moves on to another phase of his basketball career, becoming a head coach, and Knicks fans hope he can work a similar type of magic. The Knicks haven’t won an NBA title since 1973, the seventh-longest drought among current NBA teams.
NBA Head Coaches
Won 5+ NBA Titles as Player
What’s to know about Fisher from a statistical perspective?
Start with this, since his rookie season of 1996-1997, he’s won 161 playoff games, the most of any player in NBA history (as are his 259 playoff games). The Knicks have won 40 playoff games (and no titles) in that same span.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Fisher is the fifth head coach who became a coach in the first season following his final appearance as a player, since the NBA and ABA merged prior to the 1976-77 season.
The other four- Paul Silas, Mike Dunleavy, Avery Johnson and Jason Kidd, were a combined 154-110 in that first season.
Fisher got the same deal that Steve Kerr, who was reportedly the Knicks first choice, got from the Golden State Warriors, five years and $25 million.
Fisher played for nine years under Phil Jackson, who will be his boss in New York (compared to Kerr’s five) and won five championships with him (to Kerr’s three).
Jackson’s former assistants and players have yet to have the sort of success as a head coach that they had working with him. Brian Shaw, Bill Cartwright, Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis are a combined 147-348 as full-time head coaches (non-interim stints).