Derek Fisher insisted during his introductory press conference today that he’s ready to take on the task of coaching the Knicks in spite of just having finished his playing career, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News relays (Twitter link). The new Knicks bench boss had plenty more to say about the job and how he wound up with it, and we’ll hit the highlights of his joint press conference with Knicks president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills:
- The new coach made it clear that he wants Carmelo Anthony to stay with the team, and said that he’ll be a part of an effort to “do everything we can to keep him,” as Chris Mannix of SI.com observes. Jackson and Mills plan to meet with ‘Melo soon, the Zen Master said, according to Newsday’s Rod Boone (Twitter links).
- Anthony reportedly sees the strength of the team’s roster as a key factor in his decision whether to remain with the Knicks, but Fisher expressed confidence about the players he’s set to coach, as Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal tweets. “I’m not as down on the roster and the team as some of you in the room are,” Fisher said to the gathering of reporters.
- The Lakers reached out to Fisher only on an informal basis, the new Knicks coach said, and he found the team’s choice against an all-out pursuit surprising. Still, Fisher admitted that the Lakers would have had an uphill battle to hire him, given how far along he was with the Knicks when L.A. called. Medina has the details in three separate tweets.
- Fisher said that the presence of Jackson helped accelerate his decision to take the Knicks gig, Medina notes (on Twitter). “This is not for Phil and I just to hang out again as friends,” Fisher said, according to Diamond (Twitter link). “We want to add more banners to this ceiling.”
- A recent report indicated that Fisher is more comfortable with James Dolan than Steve Kerr is, but Fisher downplayed his relationship with the Knicks owner, and Mills said he and Dolan didn’t talk about Fisher. Mannix and Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com pass along the news via Twitter.