Jeff Hornacek successfully dismisses Derek Fisher’s distant Knicks coaching criticism
We should have known something was up some 20 years ago, when Derek Fisher was pairing with fellow-rookie Kobe Bryant and making a name for himself despite entering the league as a lower-rung draft pick out of University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Soon enough we’ll be taking a deep dive on 1996-97 teammate Travis Knight, also a rookie during that campaign.
The clamor for content doesn’t end with the reports of a burglary at Fisher’s house, possibly costing him (hopefully, however briefly) the five NBA championship rings he earned with the Lakers. At this point, despite working as an analyst for Laker games in Los Angeles, Fisher still feels like more of a Knick than anything, the by-product of an at-times bizarre interview he gave with Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report recently.
In it, New York’s head coach from 2014-15 through Feb. 8 2016 talked about the youthful indiscretions that influenced him to join the Knicks all of 32 months ago, when Fisher was 39. When Phil Jackson made the call just a few months after taking over in New York, his former Laker was quick to hop on the idea that Derek Fisher, Thirtysomething NBA Head Coach, could work out:
“When we’re young, sometimes we’re quick to go after the first or the newest or the shiniest opportunity that is in front of us, because we don’t quite know any better,” Fisher said of the Knicks.
“The prettiest girl, the shiniest car, the best-looking house. Then once we open the door and walk inside the house, we realize the walls aren’t painted, the foundation’s cracked, the plumbing is leaking in the backyard and the pool is about to collapse.”
The Knicks collapsed under Fisher, to the tune of a 40-96 record as head coach, just as they have under first-year New York coach Jeff Hornacek this season, with a win-now collection of talents middling along at 21-28 in what has become yet another embarrassing year for the Eastern Conference.
Hornacek only took over after president Phil Jackson was talked out of hiring friend and failed Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis for the head job, an unconscionable move considering Rambis’ stint with the Timberwolves and his 9-19 turn as Knicks interim head coach.
Judging by the Bleacher Report feature, Fisher appears to be taking some sort of solace in the team’s trials since Jackson fired him fifty-one weeks ago:
“We were able to take a team that wasn’t as talented as the team they have now, and we were much better and much further along than this group is that they have now,” Fisher said. “Because the foundation was being laid.”
It would be kind of us to recognize that Fisher and his “foundation” were of paramount importance, and that the 2016-17 Knicks have underachieved (to those who think the sort of rotation that Jackson has constructed could function, at least) with a win-now roster plus Kristaps Porzingis …
“I know what we deposited into Kristaps Porzingis that is coming out this year. He isn’t where he is now by himself. He deserves all the credit, but what we…