Rumor: Derek Fisher’s job not safe with Knicks

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
17 Comments

The Knicks (20-21) have already won more games than last season.

Young players players like Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant have healthy roles. Veterans like Carmelo Anthony, Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams are fitting together.

New York’s offense is far more cohesive, and its defense has leaped to tolerable.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher has done a nice job.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll keep his job, according to Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Windhorst:

I’m going to wave a yellow flag on Derek Fisher, as well.

Just hearing some rumbling that there isn’t a lot of – it’s not all rainbows and lollypops there. Just a yellow flag, not a red flag.

Lowe:

I agree with you that there’s some rumblings. I haven’t heard them maybe like you have.

I was unconvinced on keeping Fisher after last season’s disaster. He looked to be in way over his head.

But once Phil Jackson retained Fisher, what more could the Knicks president want this season? Fisher has exceeded reasonable expectations.

He’s in just his second year of coaching, let alone as a head coach. He seems to be improving.

It’s not all rosy. Players have reportedly questioned his grasp of X-and-Os. But credit Fisher for delegating to assistants and motivating the team. Diagramming plays needn’t be his specialty – especially if he works well within his limitations.

Like other areas of his coaching, Fisher has grown as a strategist. It’s logical he continues to progress.

Fast enough for the Knicks?

Fisher is in the second season of a reported five-year, $25 million contract – though it reportedly contains multiple team options. New York could afford to pay him and a replacement coach.

I just don’t understand why the Knicks would. I was far from sold on Fisher in the first place, but they believed enough in him to hire him. They also believed in him enough to bring him back this season.

What could have changed since where they might not give him a third year?