NBA Franchise Notes: Knicks' Fisher Must Settle Into Jackson's Shadow
In N.Y., Mike Lupica writes new Knicks coach Derek Fisher gave "a winning performance” at his introductory press conference yesterday, but it is “all about” team President Phil Jackson now. It will be “quite interesting to see how comfortable Fisher, a wise and proud figure,” will be “wearing the perception that Phil-osophy with the Knicks means he, Fisher, is some kind of kid involved in a mentoring program” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/11). Also in N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes, "As much as Jackson tried to make this day about Fisher it was actually about Jackson because it will always be about Jackson until this plan actually gets sling-shotted into turnaround.” It was Jackson’s day “yesterday, and will be tomorrow, and each day next week, and every day until he changes the conversation by changing the culture.” Hiring Fisher is “a start,” but “only that” (N.Y. POST, 6/11).
JOHNNY UTAH: In Boise, Dave Southorn notes the Jazz and the NBA D-League Idaho Stampede yesterday “announced a ‘hybrid’ affiliation for next season.” The Stampede will “handle the business side of operations, while the Jazz will manage the basketball side, including coaches and the roster.” Stampede Managing Investor Bill Ilett said that the team's uniforms and logo “may undergo tweaks next season to match the Jazz, and likely will evolve further as the affiliation continues.” The Trail Blazers, who served as the Stampede’s affiliate last season “assigned, then called back up, only two players for a total of eight games.” But Ilett said of the Jazz, “I think they'll use it quite a bit more. Geographically, we can move players easily, and I think culturally it makes a lot of sense” (IDAHO STATESMAN, 6/11).
BIG BAD WOLF: In Minneapolis, Chip Scoggins wrote what the T’Wolves need “more than anything is stability,” as they “rarely experience the tranquility of calm waters.” The reason for that “starts at the top and flows downward.” If the T’Wolves “were a Doppler radar, they would be covered in bright ominous colors because the atmosphere around this organization is always unstable” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/8).