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Fisher: More NBA opportunities for PH coaches than players

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There are more opportunities for Filipino coaches to make it to the National Basketball Association than players.

That’s because the world of coaches is smaller, and there are closer ties among them from all over the world.

This is how five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher sees it when he held a Jr. NBA Philippines Coaches Clinic on Wednesday at the NBA Community Court in Reyes Gym, Mandaluyong City.

“I think it’s all about talent as far as players are concerned. But there’s probably more opportunity for coaches to grow,” said Fisher in a huddle with scribes after the clinic, which also saw Norman Black and Jong Uichico in attendance.

The 49-year-old Fisher, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers in five NBA championships, believes that he does not see many Filipino players making it to the NBA in the coming years.

However, Fisher added, that as the game continues to grow globally, finding players who can make it to the NBA is possible.

“In terms of the coaches, it’s a smaller fraternity. So finding ways to build relationships, that works either in college or in the pros. There are important aspects that coaches can bring,” added Fisher.

So far, Kai Sotto, Japeth Aguilar, Ray Parks, and Kiever Ravena were among the players who tried to find ways to suit up for teams in the NBA, but have fallen short.

And there are at least two coaches of Filipino descent who are in the NBA, like Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Sacramento Kings’ assistant coach Jimmy Alapag.

Fisher spent three hours teaching coaches some defensive techniques which are crucial for them to learn and apply to their team’s game style.

These were lessons that Fisher learned when he also played for the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Dallas Mavericks.

Fisher, best known for his leadership, toughness, and clutch playmaking ability when he started playing in 1996 for the Lakers before retiring in 2014 with the Thunder, discussed with the coaches the effective of closing out strategies towards the end of his lecture.

This technique is one of the things Fisher emphasized when he coached the New York Knicks from 2014 to 2016 in the NBA, and the Los Angeles Sparks in the Women’s NBA from 2019 to 2022.


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