Derek Fisher was let go by the Sparks on Tuesday after the team’s sluggish 5-7 start to the season in a year many thought they could be a dark horse WNBA championship contender. Assistant coach Fred Williams will take over as the interim replacement.
Let the Fisher-to-the-Lakers rumors commence.
Fisher’s road as a WNBA head coach was rocky
While his two season coaching the NBA’s Knicks were particularly bad, Fisher finished his tenure with a 54-46 tenure in the W. He made the postseason in two out of three full seasons — winning just one game — and at the time of his firing, the Sparks held the eighth and final playoff seed.
His best season came in Year 1, leading the Sparks to the league’s third-best record, but infamously, his benching of Candace Parker in the third game of a 3-game sweep to the Sun in the conference finals is what’s remembered. Two seasons later, she and star point guard Chelsea Gray would leave in free agency. Parker won a championship in her first season with the Sky.
Minutes after the firing, former Sparks guard Te’a Cooper tweeted ominously
Cooper, a fan favorite who started 13 games last season, was one of a handful of surprising WNBA players cut prior to the start of the season. In the WNBA, there are fewer than 144 roster spots available as the league only has 12 teams.
After the Fisher news was released, she tweeted and then deleted:
The Sparks have time to turn their season around
With forward Nneka Ogwumike playing at an MVP-level, and new additions Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter starting to find their own, L.A. has plenty of time to turn a so-so season into something special. Their bottom-of-the-league defense will need rewriting first.
The Sparks championship odds are set at +3600 (bet $100 to win $3,600).