New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the Knicks has hired Derek Fisher as the 26th head coach in franchise history.
"Today marks the next step of this journey for the New York Knicks franchise as we name Derek to lead the team as its head coach." Jackson said. "Our relationship began 15 years ago, and over time, it has come clear to me that he and I can form a great partnership once again."
Fisher, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010) recently retired after an 18-year playing career with Los Angeles, Golden State, Utah, Dallas and Oklahoma City, finishing 16th on the NBA's all-time regular season games played list (1,287) and first in playoff game appearances (259). He averaged 8.3 points and 3.0 assists over 25.4 minutes during regular-season play, including a 5.2-scoring average in 81 games for the Thunder this past season.
"I'm excited to embark on the next phase of my basketball career and look forward to coaching a Knicks team that fans can be proud of," Fisher said. "It's an honor to work alongside Phil Jackson, who is both a legend and friend as we strive together to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to New York."
The 39-year-old Little Rock, AR native won five NBA championships as the starting point guard of Jackson's team in Los Angeles during the 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010 Championship playoff runs, and also won a fifth ring serving as a key reserve in the 2000 title run. Fisher authored one of the more exciting moments in NBA Playoff history hitting the game-winning shot with :00.4 left in a Game Five win over San Antonio during the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals.
Fisher served as president of the National Basketball Player's Association from 2006-13 and played a pivotal role in ending the 2011 NBA lockout. He played four seasons at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and was originally selected by the Lakers in the first round (24th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft.