Like Kidd did last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Fisher became a head coach the season after he retired as a player. Fisher signed a five-year, $25 million contract to become New York's head coach in June, following an 18-year playing career.
Kidd said Fisher's on-court experience bodes well for his coaching career.
“I think it was a smart play [by him] when you look at Derek’s career,’’ Kidd said before the Bucks’ 120-107 preseason victory over the Knicks on Monday at the Garden. “He’s going to be a great coach in this league. His personality, never going to panic. He’s been in big games, won championships. He has all the ingredients to be one of the best coaches in this league, given time.’’
Kidd, who was traded by the Nets to the Bucks after one season, also said Fisher will benefit from having team president Phil Jackson as a mentor, but that the new coach will still be in control of the team.
“You look at Derek, you look at [Knicks] management, they understand how to do that quite well,’’ Kidd said. “He has a good mentor to do that who has won championships, the type of person to lean on. It’s not like this is going to be Phil’s team. It’s Fish’s team. He definitely made that clear. But he has someone to draw from, how to handle different situations.”
Fisher replaces Mike Woodson, who was fired after New York finished 37-45 and missed the playoffs last season.
The Knicks open the regular season Oct. 29 against the Chicago Bulls.
- Paul Palladino