Former Knicks head coach Derek Fisher weighed in on Phil Jackson and the Knicks while appearing as an analyst on NBA TV on Wednesday night.
"I think a lot of people forget about Phil because of history within the game of basketball - one of the greatest basketball minds, coaches we've ever seen - there's an assumption that he's supposed to know what to do in every situation," Fisher said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "He's also still learning as an executive, as a president of an organization, which is completely different than coaching. My assumption, without assuming, is there was a lot of learning he had to do and we all had to do while working together. … I think Phil is still settling in, but organization-wide, they are still settling in as to who the Knicks are in their DNA."
Fisher was fired on Feb. 8 and replaced by Kurt Rambis on an interim basis.
Aside from his thoughts on Jackson, Fisher discussed the state of the roster.
"Roster-wise, there are good players there,'' Fisher said. "I don't think the roster was complete when the season started and it's not complete now. So over the summer, the first step after the season is deciding: 'Who are we as an organization? What style of basketball are we going to play? How are we going to convince free agents to come here and play for us?' To do that, you have to have a vision for where you're going."
Fisher also said that Carmelo Anthony is happy with the development of Kristaps Porzingis, and noted that the traingle offense is tough to implement because there isn't as much extra time as there used to be.
"It's difficult to implement a system that requires so much terminology-wise, specific skill-set-wise, and it's not impossible to do it," Fisher said. "But I think it makes it more challenging for a team to develop during the course of the season compared to other teams who aren't asking that of their players."
Fisher isn't saying anything that everyone else around the Knicks (and their respective fan base) doesn't know already.
Jackson is still coming into his own as President, as evidenced by the relatively drawn out process he's taken thus far to see to it that the Knicks are successful. We're more than two years into the process, and the team hasn't exactly made the type of progress most would have expected with a gifted basketball mind in Jackson leading the way.
He, much like Fisher was, should still be considered a rookie at this new craft.
Jackson has certainly put a lot of positive pieces in place. He re-signed Carmelo Anthony, and even motivated the star to make beneficial changes to his game. The draft selection of Kristaps Porzingis was also special, giving this team a talented duo to build around. His supporting cast choices have experienced their own respective ups and downs along the way.
Ironically, Jackson's biggest rookie mistake was hiring Fisher, fresh off hanging up his sneakers. Such a decision set the Knicks back in the process. Even when the team was seemingly making strides, Fisher's own inexperience and/or stubbornness caused them to slip and fall again and again.
Fisher can't hurt the Knicks anymore, but the overall bleeding needs to stop. Jackson needs to learn from his mistakes much faster than Fisher appeared to.