For many years, Derek Fisher was a key member of the Los Angeles Lakers as they won five NBA championships.
Now, he’ll be trying his hand at coaching basketball at the high school level, as he has been named the new head coach at Crespi Carmelite High School, a private Catholic school in the San Fernando Valley.
“Now, he’ll skip college (the opposite way) and try his hand at the high school ranks after being appointed the new boys basketball coach at Encino Crespi in Northern Los Angeles Monday,” wrote Tarek Fattal of Sports Illustrated.
Fisher has some head coaching experience, as he has spent time coaching the New York Knicks and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
But he is most known for being Kobe Bryant’s backcourt mate when the Lakers were regularly going deep into the NBA Playoffs and charging after the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Fisher was the No. 24 pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, which was the same draft in which Bryant went at pick No. 13. He wasn’t a very skilled guard, as most others in the league were quicker than him, had better one-on-one skills and could defend better than him.
But Fisher’s steady hand, leadership and timely 3-point shooting were considered invaluable for the Purple and Gold.
He left the Lakers as a free agent in 2004, but he returned three years later as they began to become a title contender again after the departure of Shaquille O’Neal. He ultimately ended up playing 18 seasons in the NBA.
The guard’s most memorable moment with Los Angeles may have been in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals when he hit a miraculous game-winning shot with 0.4 seconds left to help the team eliminate the San Antonio Spurs in six games.
In addition to coaching, Fisher has spent his post-playing career as an analyst for Lakers games on Spectrum SportsNet, the local cable station that carries most of their games. He was also the president of the NBA Players Association during the 2011 lockout.