Nearly three years after being fired midseason by the New York Knicks after a season-and-a-half as head coach, Derek Fisher has landed back on his feet in the coaching world. This time the former Los Angeles Lakers star is headed back to his old stomping grounds as head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, the team announced Wednesday. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
A news conference introducing Fisher is scheduled for Friday. Fisher will be the 12th head coach in Sparks history.
“I’m excited to be the new head coach of the L.A. Sparks,” Fisher said in a news release from the Sparks' website. “There is no finer organization in the WNBA and I can’t wait to work with our ownership group, front office, talented players and staff to cement a culture of sustained excellence, which is what L.A. basketball fans demand — and deserve.”
The 44-year-old Fisher won five NBA titles during two stints and 13 total seasons with the Lakers. Fisher also spent time with the Warriors, Mavericks, Jazz and Thunder.
“Derek is a great basketball mind who brings a ton of high-level experience to our team,” two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker said. “I look forward to working with someone with championship pedigree and who has a track record of strong leadership. Derek has been a strong supporter of women’s basketball for quite some time, so it’s nice to officially welcome him.”
Fisher replaces Brian Agler, who resigned last month. Agler led the Sparks to a WNBA Finals title in 2016.
"I just think that sometimes, it’s just time,” Agler told espnW last week. “It’s probably best for everybody involved. I really enjoyed my four seasons I was there. The team, they’re great players and tremendous people. Strong and good ownership. Really good front office. I can only say positive things.”
Fisher’s lone stint as a head coach ended in midway through the 2015-16 season. The Knicks were 23-31 that season after a 17-65 campaign in his rookie year as coach.
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