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Derek Fisher is hired as coach of the Sparks

Derek Fisher is hired as coach of the Sparks
Derek Fisher coached the NBA's New York Knicks from 2014 to 2016. (Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee)

Former Lakers point guard Derek Fisher has been hired as coach of the Sparks, the team announced on Wednesday.

Fisher, who helped the Lakers win five NBA titles, coached the New York Knicks from 2014 to 2016. He played for the Lakers in 12 of his first 14 seasons before being traded to the Houston Rockets in the 2011-2012 season.

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“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 L.A. basketball fans demand — and deserve.”

The Sparks announced last week that Brian Agler resigned as coach after four seasons with the team. Agler had an 85-51 record with the Sparks and led the team to the 2016 WNBA championship. The Sparks were 19-15 in 2018, falling to the Washington Mystics in the second round of the playoffs.

An introductory news conference is set for noon Friday during which Fisher, All-Star center Candace Parker, Penny Toler, executive vice president and general manager, and Eric Holoman, managing director and governor who is a member of the Sparks ownership group, will participate.

“Derek is a champion and proven leader on and off the court,” Toler said in a statement. “With his wealth of experience as a former player and head coach, I can’t think of a better steward for our basketball team moving forward.”

Toler could not be reached for an additional comment.

Parker, who has been with the Sparks since 2008, said in a statement: “Derek is a great basketball mind who brings a ton of high-level experience to our team. 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.”

5 p.m.: This article has been updated with additional quotes and details.

This article was originally published at 3:40 p.m.

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