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SportsBasketballKnicks

Derek Fisher will rely on championship experience in new job as Knicks coach

Derek Fisher is introduced as the Knicks' new

Derek Fisher is introduced as the Knicks' new head coach during a press conference at the team's training facility on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Derek Fisher is one week away from another training camp, but he's preparing much differently from the previous 16 years.

It's his first time opening camp as an NBA head coach. Now he has to use the experience and knowledge he gained from winning five championships as a player and try to get the most out of the Knicks.

"It's different," Fisher said Monday at a playground and basketball court dedication in Staten Island. "I won't be out there on the court playing, but a lot of the things that factor into the NBA season, they still have to be managed.

"So now just being in a position to make a lot of the decisions that go into managing the season properly, that's different, but I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying it and just trying to do the best job I can to put our players in the best position to be successful. That's my job."

Fisher, a great leader as a player, will have plenty of help as he makes the transition to his new career.

Knicks president Phil Jackson is the ultimate adviser. Fisher also has Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons -- longtime assistants and former champions -- on his bench to aid in teaching the players the triangle offense that helped Jackson win an unprecedented 11 NBA titles as a coach.

With Carmelo Anthony returning in great shape and the acquisition of heady point guard Jose Calderon, the Knicks, who missed the playoffs last season, should be improved. But they're not a championship contender yet.

Ultimately, ending that drought, currently at 41 years, is the expectation, especially with all the rings Jackson, Fisher and his staff have. At the NBA event, Mayor Bill de Blasio reminded Fisher of New Yorkers' desire for a title.

"Derek, there's no pressure on you at all," De Blasio said. "You know, people really, really, really, really want a championship. But again, no pressure. I know your career and know you're a specialist in last-minute pressure situations so I think you're going to blend in fine."

Fisher smiled, and later said he is just focused on doing his job.

"Pressure is an internal thing," he said. "I'm rarely good at controlling what others think of what I'm doing or what the team is doing. And so we just have to always focus on the things we can control, and that's playing good basketball and trying to represent the city the way it deserves to be represented, and that's what we're going to do every day."

New York Sports