By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19
The message from the New York Knicks was clear on Tuesday morning: with Phil Jackson as President and Derek Fisher as Head Coach, they can bring their championship ways to New York from Los Angeles, where they won five titles together.
Fisher was introduced as Knicks Head Coach at the team's training facility in Greenburgh, NY on Tuesday. This is Fieher's first head coaching job, as he played the last game of his career just ten days ago when his Oklahoma City Thunder lost to San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals. He touted the experience he brings to the job.
Fisher said, "I have not been a head coach in the NBA, college, or high school. But I am experienced. I am experienced in playing the game and being a champion.
"Basketball is a game that I am experienced in playing, understanding, leading in, guiding in, helping another group of people achieve the greatest gift in the world as a professional athlete, and that's being a champion. That I have experience in, and that's the experience that I plan on sharing with these players, sharing with this organization. Every experience I had in the world of basketball leads to this moment," said Fisher.
Fisher wants to restore the "championship DNA" to the Knicks, a team that has not won it all since 1973, when Jackson was part of that legendary team with Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, and Willis Reed.
Jackson called Fisher "the perfect choice" to lead the Knicks with his vision of the game.
Jackson plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony's representatives soon and reiterate how much the organization would like him to stay. He had a suggestion for what Fisher should do for his meeting with Anthony. "I think I'll have Derek wear all five of his rings the first time he comes in and talks to Carmelo. And say, 'This is what we're working for, you know?'"
Fisher said of whether he thinks Anthony will stay or go, "That's I guess a good question, but one that I don't have an answer to. Only Carmelo can answer that question. That's a big part of not only who I am as a person and have been as a player, but who I'll be as a coach, is that ultimately the decision to be great, to be a part of something special, to want to be the best you can be is ultimately your choice."
Fisher also said, "We obviously firmly believe that here is that place for Carmelo. And we are going to do our best, not to convince him to change his mind from maybe a decision that's already made, but just help give him some confidence that with the personalities involved and our commitment to working hard to achieve a certain level of success, that this is the place where he can have what it is he wants."
Jackson said, "Steve (Mills) and I plan to meet with Carmelo and some of his people in the near future and we want to express to him again our desire to have him back on the team. We haven't had a plan one way or the other - if he decides to opt in or opt out - because that is his choice. And he sought that in free agency and he's got the right to do that."