The Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA have agreed to part ways with head coach and general manager Derek Fisher, effective immediately. The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard was originally hired as the team’s head coach on Dec. 5, 2018 and was named the team’s general manager on Dec. 22, 2020.
Fisher accumulated a regular-season record of 54-46 in his time with the Sparks, qualifying for the playoffs in two of his three seasons at the helm. The Sparks currently have a 5-7 record, good for eighth place in the WNBA standings. Assistant Fred Williams will serve as the team’s interim coach for the rest of the season and the Sparks will begin their search for a new general manager immediately.
“I want to thank the LA Sparks organization, ownership, staff, players, and fans for the opportunity they have afforded me over the last four years as a part of this historic franchise,” Fisher said. “Their support has allowed me to grow as both a coach and front office executive and I am proud of what we have accomplished.”
“The Sparks and I have mutually agreed to part ways as I shift my focus back to pursuing other opportunities and private endeavors,” Fisher added. “It has been an amazing ride and I wish the entire LA sparks organization great success moving forward.”
Fisher won five NBA Championships as a player with the Lakers and was known for his reliability, basketball IQ and clutch shots throughout his career. Fisher made the leap into coaching immediately after his playing career ended, taking over as the head coach of the New York Knicks in 2014. He would compile just a 40-96 record in New York before being let go.
New interim coach Fred Williams has over 30 years of coaching experience in women’s basketball spending time as head coach of the Tulsa Shock/Dallas Wings, Utah Starzz, and Atlanta Dream whom he led to the WNBA Finals in 2013. He was also the head coach of the USC Trojans women’s basketball team from 1995-1997.
Pelinka says Ham was ‘unanimous’ choice by front office
Meanwhile, the Lakers have a new head coach of their own in Darvin Ham, who is a former NBA player and assistant coach as well.
During his introductory press conference, Rob Pelinka revealed that Ham was a ‘unanimous’ choice by the Lakers’ head coaching search committee.
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