Derek Fisher, former NBA player and coach, was hired by the WNBA hired to the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, according to ESPN. He is scheduled to be introduced by the western team at a press event Friday.
Fisher played in the NBA for 18 seasons and won five championships with the LA Lakers, which drafted him in 1996. He also served as the president of the NBA for 17 years.
His head coaching career began in 2014 with a five-year, $25 million deal with the New York Knicks. With Fisher as a rookie head coach in the 2014-15 season, the Knicks were 17-65. He was let go the following season when the eastern conference team carried a 23-31 record.
Derek Fisher is thrilled about working in the WNBA.
“I’m excited to be the new head coach of the LA Sparks,” Fisher said in a statement. “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 LA basketball fans demand–and deserve.”
The five-time champion becomes the 12th head coach for the women’s team.
Two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker plays for the Sparks and is hopeful about what Fisher can do for the team.
“Derek is a great basketball mind who brings a ton of high-level experience to our team,” 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.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.