Beyond the Arc

Ben Fiore

             On Tuesday December 4th, Derek Fisher was signed as the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.  This is comes as a shock to most people including myself.  Though with the low profile of the WNBA, it isn’t too flabbergasting for a team from this league to hire a coach who had a (40-96) record in his short term as head coach of the New York Knicks.  Maybe Fisher caught a tough break in the NBA coaching realm, and wasn’t given enough time.  But the situation made sense.  The Knicks were declining drastically year after year and wanted immediate results that Fisher seemingly couldn’t provide.  Initially, I expected him to be given more of a chance due to his illustrious NBA playing career.  Fisher played for the Lakers, Warriors, Jazz, Mavericks and Thunder throughout 18 seasons while obtaining 5 championships all with the LA Lakers.  Clearly dude was a great point guard and is responsible for one of the best clutch shots in sports history.

            Clearly D-Fish is a bonafide ladies man, just ask Matt Barnes.  If you didn’t catch that slick reference, I’m referring to a beef between the two guys mentioned from back in 2015.  Derek Fisher was seeing Matt Barnes’ wife behind his back.  The two were long time teammates on the Lakers, which is why Barnes was so upset.  He reportedly drove 95 miles to “whoop that ass” as he said.  When that story broke, I couldn’t help but bust out laughing while envisioning the “Angela” scenario between Andy Bernard and Dwight Schrute on “The Office”.  For the Sparks and the WNBA, thankfully the only drama Fisher has had isn’t necessarily criminal, which is a big sigh of relief in hopes that his drama cap stays there.

There are only 12 WNBA teams, and with the addition of Fisher, 7 coaches are now male.  Most women are upset with that considering there are no female coaches in the NBA.  I imagine they will stay upset though because the WNBA has less than half the league and fan base that the NBA has.  The Sparks should consider themselves lucky.  The Sparks went (19-15) last season finishing 3rd in the West, which is uncommon for a team that historically successful team.  Derek Fisher is a man with experience on the player and coaching level in the most competitive league of basketball in the world.  Fisher is going to bring great success to the Sparks.  Historically, they are a great WNBA team.  I feel that their record will only improve with Fish at the helm.  Fisher is experienced, a talented coach, an excellent people person, and has the advantage of going back to familiar roots.  Fisher spent a majority of his career in Los Angeles, which is also where he found most of his success in his career.  Fish is going to feel right at home with the Sparks.  I genuinely believe this coaching move will open up many avenues for the WNBA.  Fisher has the potential to change the culture of the WNBA and bring some much needed attention to the association.  Who knows, maybe Fisher’s profile will be able to attract more viewers to the WNBA than Sunday afternoon competitive bowling.  The WNBA is without a doubt one of the most forgettable leagues in sports, but Derek Fisher just might be able to change that.