Commentary: Five reasons why not hiring Derek Fisher is good for the Lakers

Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher, pictured in 2010, will be reunited in New York after the former guard was named the Knicks' new head coach Monday.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Five reasons Lakers fans should be relieved the Lakers did not hire Derek Fisher ... or one reason for each of his championship rings.

1.) The new Lakers coach needs to have enough distance from Kobe Bryant to be able to objectively handle Bryant during what could be a turbulent last two years of his contract. Fisher is too close. Fisher and Bryant have too much history. Fisher was Bryant’s best friend and witness to all of his most glorious moments, which will make it too difficult for Fisher to pull the plug on Bryant’s minutes and starring role if it finally becomes necessary.

2.) The new Lakers coach needs to be able to realize that these are the not the championship Lakers, and coach with great patience and lower expectations. Fisher is not that kind of guy. Remember, in the spring of 2012, with Fisher struggling on the court and the Lakers mired in mediocrity, he was traded because he was no longer a positive locker room presence. He needs to be on a winner. Good luck with that, Knicks.

3.) The new Lakers coach needs to be someone who can help this team grow through the end of the Bryant era and into the franchise’s next chapter. It must be a coach with the staying power to overcome any questions about his job security as the team struggles to reinvent itself. Since Fisher has never coached at any level, he would be questioned here from the opening tip of the opening game. Again, good luck with that, Knicks.


4.) The new Lakers coach must able to teach the young guys who will be the future of the organization. He must be able to somehow convey game plans and strategies and ideas. Fisher, however, always leads mostly by example. There was never a need for him to be a mentor here. He never did any sort of informal coaching outside of the occasional timeout speech or locker room intercession.

5.) The new Lakers coach can be Fisher in four or five years, after Bryant has retired and Fisher has made his bones in New York and the Lakers have charted their future. That works, right? If Derek Fisher is ever going to be the Lakers coach, he should be their coach when he has proven he can last here longer than point-four seconds.

Follow Bill Plaschke on Twitter @billplaschke