The Lakers need to accomplish two things with their coaching hire. They need to instill a winning culture that will attract free agents (i.e. Kevins Durant and Love), and they need to appease Kobe during the next two seasons so that he doesn’t sabotage the coach (see, Mikes D’Antoni and Brown).
Derek Fisher fulfills both requirements.
Derek is a winner. He made the playoffs every season of his career, and participating in more playoff games than any other player in NBA history. He won five championships. He played point guard for Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan. Fisher is a leader, and can absolutely instill a winning culture in LA quickly as the head coach. He understands that it’s championship or bust in LA, and he is up to the task.
Derek can help recruit star free agents. He has a great relationship with current teammate and 2016 free agent Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant said during his MVP acceptance speech that Derek taught him that he can always get better and always has more to learn. Maybe Derek can teach him further as the Lakers head coach. As the former president of the players association, Derek commands respect around the NBA. He played with Shaq, Kobe, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Pau Gasol. Derek is capable of working with stars and helping them grow.
As Fisher establishes a winning culture in LA, the Lakers will not need to worry about Kobe undermining him. Fish not only has Kobe’s respect, he has the confidence and stature to stand up to Kobe. While the Mikes (Brown and D’Antoni) had trouble butting heads with the Mamba, Derek Fisher has no problems with a little conflict. Derek’s ability to say no to Kobe made Fish an ideal backcourt mate for Kobe, and can make him a great coach for 24. Kobe’s demanding and dominant presence often overpowers his teammates and coaches, and necessitates a strong nurturing voice in the locker room to balance him. Derek had that voice as a player, and he can have it again as the head coach. Kobe would respect him for it, and the other players would appreciate him.
Hit the jump for why Derek Fisher would not be a good hire for the Lakers.