The former Oklahoma City Thunder point guard – who just retired nine days ago ‒ has all the attributes to be a great coach in the NBA. He has a great basketball mind, knows the league like the back of his hand, well-respected by the players, trusted by the front office and knows the recipe for success.
The Knicks needed a coach that’s a proven leader, a disciple of the game and a naturally winner, and that’s exactly what the organization got with Fisher. The 39-year-old played in the association for 17 years and has five championship rings.
"He's got great poise, he's got a great basketball IQ, great recognition on both ends of the floor," Sam Presti said of Fisher back in 2012. "He understands the league.”
He was never the best player, but he knew what it took the get the job done. His tranquility, defensive prowess and offensive wisdom could be passed down to his players. His wisdom should be an asset to his players.
In 2012, when the Thunder signed Fisher, Kevin Durant said, “I'm just going to just try to pick his (Fisher) brain as much as I can about the game of basketball, but at the same time, of course if I want to get to that goal, I'll have to experience it myself."
Unlike some of the previous New York Knicks head coaches, Fisher should get the full support of the men that run the organization. He was a student under Phil Jackson, New York’s president, for nine years in Los Angeles. The two have great chemistry and it wouldn't be a surprise if it was Jackson who convinced Fisher to snub Los Angeles Lakers for the Knicks.
Fisher’s familiarity with great players and ability to make them better should appeal to Carmelo Anthony. According to bleacherreport’s Grant Hughes, “The Knicks' best player can become a free agent this summer by exercising an early-termination option in his contract.”
With Fisher at the realm, Anthony should be a better leader and a more effective player. The power forward could emulate Durant by picking his new head coach’s brain.
From the players standpoint, Fisher isn’t just a suit, he’s one of them. The ex-player has been in the league for so long, almost every NBA player is familiar with him. As the president of the National Basketball Player’s association, Fisher also gained the trust of the players by diligently serving them and helping settle the issues that led to the 2011 lockout.
This trust and respect Fisher already has with the players will make it easier for him to transition into his new coaching position. He should easily have control of the locker room and he should know how to deal with feuds between his players.
With the Thunder, Fisher was already acting like a coach. He was brought into the team to be the help guide the younger players and teach them to always stay positive.