There aren’t many ways to sum up the carousel of confusion that surrounds the New York Knicks than Grantland contributor Netw3rk, who nailed it when he wrote that, “The New York Knicks face the curious prospect of entering the 2014-15 season with a head coach who’s a better point guard than their actual point guard and a president of basketball operations who’s a better coach than their head coach.” That is, exactly, what the Knicks happened into when they snagged Derek Fisher, freshly formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder and famously of the Los Angeles Lakers, to a five year deal worth a reported $25 million. The development was not a shock to anyone, especially after Knicks GM Phil Jackson was so candid about his desire for Uncle Fish as a coach that the league fined him for tampering.
Fisher, who has never been an NBA coach in any official capacity before this hiring, saw himself as having been a coach-in-training for the last 20 years of his life, as the 39-year-old point guard looked back on an NBA career that started in 1996. For Jackson, this means that his coach will be open to the Triangle offense, a philosophy and play style which has largely laid dormant since Phil Jackson retired (save Kurt Rambis’ attempted to install it unsuccessfully in Minnesota.) Further evidence for the Triangle: Rambis is a favorite to land one of the head assistant coaching gigs for New York. Based on the Knicks’ prospective roster for next year, the Triangle seems like a better bet than the pick and roll heavy stylings of Mike Woodson or Mike D’Antoni.
“I think it’s a little bit of a gamble,” said Fox Sports‘ Mike Garafalo, “but the recent success you’ve seen [in] players able to turn around quickly going from player to coach, and a lot of those guys [are] like Derek Fisher: smart players when they were playing, almost like coaches on the floor.”