Former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher has been hired to be the new head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It will be the second head coaching job for Fisher, with the first being an unremarkable debut to the coaching world with the New York Knicks.
Fisher spent 13 seasons playing in Los Angeles and was the point guard for five championship teams alongside Kobe Bryant. Fisher’s tenure with the Lakers ended in the 2011-12 season when he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He retired in 2014 after a 20-year career.
Fisher’s tenure as a head coach with the Knicks was a stark contrast as the former point guard was fired 54 games into his second season in New York under team president (and former head coach) Phil Jackson. Fisher recorded just a 40-96 record in his short coaching career but showed improvements in his second year as the Knicks went 23-31 under his tutelage.
The Sparks, led by Candace Parker, have championship aspirations, having won the WNBA title as recently as 2016 and reaching the Finals as recently as 2017. Last season, they made it into the second round of the playoffs despite being the sixth seed but fell to the Washington Mystics.
The Sparks’ previous head coach, Brian Agler, resigned from his position in November as the Sparks announced just five days before Fisher’s hiring.
The Sparks were bought from Jerry Buss and the Buss family in 2006 by a group headlined by current Lakers President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson.