Working as TV analyst, Derek Fisher eyes next coaching shot

Working as TV analyst, Derek Fisher eyes next coaching shot

NEW YORK — A year after being fired, Derek Fisher is back in NBA arenas at the TV table.

What he really wants is to be back in the coaching box.

“There’s no question I’ll be back at it at some point,” Fisher said.

In the meantime, he’s working as an analyst for TNT, and next Monday he is scheduled to call his first game involving the New York Knicks, who fired him last February after 1 1/2 years.

The game is in Los Angeles against the Clippers, and Fisher will find a team that looks similar to when he was the coach. There are too many controversies and not enough victories, with Jeff Hornacek now fielding the incessant questions about the triangle offence that Fisher used to face.

“They’ve obviously had a tough season for multiple reasons,” Fisher said in a phone interview. “It’s never just one reason and quite frankly there’s always been too much focus on what they’re running offensively or what we were doing offensively, when that’s just one aspect of trying to be successful as a team.

“The biggest job I think for any of the people that are there is continuing to chip away at establishing winning habits and winning culture regardless of Xs and Os, and I’m sure that’s what Jeff is trying to figure out with this group, but it’s tough when there’s so many different things pulling at you.”

Fisher had just finished his playing career when Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson, under whom he won five championships with the Lakers, hired him in June 2014 to be his first coach. The first season was the worst in franchise history with a 17-65 record, but the team played better early in the second season before Jackson fired Fisher with the Knicks in a 1-9 tailspin.

Fisher said he enjoyed the experience despite the results on the court and the turbulence off it.

“Things are not always great early when you’re trying to figure it all out as a team and as a coach,” he said, “and so I like the struggles and the adversities and continuing to work at trying to figure all those things out. And most importantly to me, coaching puts you in a place where you can help other people be the best versions of themselves. That’s really what leadership is about to me, is serving the needs of others.”

He began working as a studio analyst for Spectrum SportsNet’s Lakers coverage this season before his TNT duties started in February with the launch of its “Players Only” schedule, a series of Monday games in which the studio and game analysts are all former players. He enjoys providing a perspective that a commentator who never played can’t, as well as the opportunity to be on the road again seeing friends — he worked with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal last week and will again Monday — and talking to coaches and players.

The TV work could serve him well later. Steve Kerr and Doc Rivers were both analysts before becoming championship-winning coaches, so perhaps the courtside view can pay off for Fisher.

“I’ve only been at it a few weeks now, but I do think that anything that puts you in a position where you’re analyzing the game helps you,” Fisher said. “It helps you to prepare for when that becomes your full-time job as a coach.”

And he believes it will come again.

“I’ve always been most at home, most comfortable when I’m trying to figure out how to help my team win and those were thoughts I had as a player and those were the thoughts I had as a coach,” Fisher said. “So when and if that opportunity presents itself again, I’ll definitely be ready for it. I’m looking forward to it and I think the biggest thing would be what and where and when. I think that applies for everybody that is kind of waiting for and looking for that next great opportunity.”

Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Fort restores a musical Christmas tradition this weekend

The Old-Fashioned Musical Christmas is back at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.

Giving is the reason for the season for a young Langley organizer

A homeless giving campaign started three years ago in Vancouver has spread to Langley.

WHAT’S IN STORE: Langley realtors take Monopoly play to new level

A local real estate agent has partnered with a few others to host a unique fundraiser for refugees.

VIDEO: Beach rocker brings sound back home to Langley

WIN TICKETS: Brookswood native Daniel Wesley returns.

Crash closes 32 Avenue in Aldergrove

Delivery van and small car collide just east of 272 Street

Langley uke players put fun twist on Christmas favourites

A Christmas show Saturday is about spreading holiday spirit and raising travel money.

Aldergrove Legion hosts Christmas breakfast

Aldergrove enjoys Light Up Aldergrove Parade and Legion’s annual Christmas breakfast

Quarter of students were away sick at Maple Ridge elementary school

Students and teachers at Maple Ridge school away with colds, flu.

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Frustrated federal workers rally against Phoenix payroll system at B.C. MP’s office

Some employees out tens of thousands of dollars with ‘no end in sight’

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Most Read