first_img“This opportunity is not a step down, sideways, backwards, somehow different than the men’s game,” Fisher told a room full of media at a downtown hotel, insisting the WNBA isn’t a steppingstone. “There isn’t a future outside of what we’re here to talk about today.”Executive vice president and general manager Penny Toler didn’t look far in finding a replacement for Brian Agler, who resigned last week.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“Our coach’s search was short but sweet,” she said. “The first person who came to mind was Derek Fisher. Derek has been a huge supporter of the Sparks, but even more importantly, he’s been a huge supporter of the WNBA from day one. He would leave his practice and fly and watch us play.”Toler said that during her 20 years as GM she would discuss the team with Fisher and seek his advice and suggestions. Los Angeles Sparks newly named head coach Derek Fisher takes questions from the media during a news conference in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a “short but sweet” search to find the new coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. Turns out he has been sitting in the courtside seats for years.Derek Fisher was introduced Friday as coach of the team that he watched play at Staples Center while helping the Lakers win five NBA championships as their point guard. It’s Fisher’s second stint as a head coach in the pro ranks. He was fired from the New York Knicks in 2016.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Fisher said it took a while for him to come to terms with the fact that he was “overly fixated with what other people thought about my experience in New York as opposed to what I felt about my experience in New York.”Fisher peppered Toler with what she said were “about 2,000 questions” before agreeing to take the Sparks job. He indicated the homework was necessary after his time with the Knicks.“What I learned is, if there is not clarity in purpose, vision and mission from ownership to management to coaches to players to staff, it doesn’t work,” he said. “Some of the basketball things are irrelevant if ownership, management, staff, players, if we are not aligned in the way we see going about our jobs and achieving our purpose and our mission.”Since leaving New York, Fisher has worked as a TV analyst. He said he explored jobs with college and men’s pro teams but the timing wasn’t right.He also experienced upheaval in his personal life. “I want more,” she said.Besides Parker, the Sparks have another former league MVP in Nneka Ogwumike and hope to re-sign guard Chelsea Gray.“We have chemistry,” Parker said.Parker noted she first met Fisher when she was 8 or 9 and her older brother’s agent was based in Arkansas, where Fisher is from.Fisher was fired in New York after going 40-96 in 1 ½ seasons while working under then-Knicks executive Phil Jackson, who coached him on the Lakers. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia “He’s invested,” she said.Fisher becomes the 12th coach in franchise history. He takes over a team that went 19-15 in the regular season this year before losing in the second round of the playoffs.Agler resigned without explanation after four years that included winning the WNBA championship in 2016. He had an 85-51 career mark with the Sparks.“I don’t know why he wanted to. I didn’t ask,” Toler said. “When someone wants to resign, it’s not my job to talk them out of it.”Former league MVP Candace Parker was on hand to welcome Fisher. She waved her right hand in the air, showing off her WNBA championship ring that made a clunking noise when her hand hit the table.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumcenter_img Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? In June 2015, he and former teammate Matt Barnes got into an altercation at the home of Gloria Govan, Barnes’ ex-wife who is now Fisher’s fiancée. In June 2017, Fisher was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after his vehicle flipped on a Los Angeles freeway. He and Govan weren’t injured.Govan and two of Fisher’s children from his first marriage were on hand Friday.“The book is not finished yet,” Fisher said. “I feel like this is an opportunity for me to continue writing my coaching book and I’m excited to do it here in LA with the Sparks.” No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Jalalon, Barroca anchor smothering Magnolia defense in Game 2 win Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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first_img CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Drake University women’s soccer team returns from a week off from game action on Tuesday night when it travels to UNI for Missouri Valley Conference play. First kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday night at UNI (7-5-2, 1-1-1 MVC), the Bulldogs are trying to secure their first MVC win this season. Drake suffered close defeats to Evansville and Indiana State in its first league games. Illinois State Live Stats UNI has just three regular season games, including two Valley contests, remaining after Tuesday night’s meeting. The Panthers are led in goals scored by Sarah Brandt’s five. Drake and UNI battled to a 1-1 draw last season in Des Moines.  Print Friendly Version Story Links Following their two conference games this week, the Bulldogs visit Iowa State on Oct. 18 for a 7 p.m. game with the Cyclones. Illinois State (7-5-2, 1-0-1 MVC) travels to Chicago to play at Loyola Wednesday night. The Redbirds have not lost a game since Sept. 8 at then No. 24 Northwestern. ISU is 5-0-2 during that span with a big win at Indiana State (4-0) and a 1-1 tie against Missouri State Sunday afternoon. Lauren Koehl has a league-leading 10 goals this season. Drake rallied for a 3-2 win over Illinois State last season for its first win in the series since 2005. Drake has four MVC matches remaining this season as the Bulldogs look to carry over their defensive pressure from non-conference play to league action to help secure victories. Drake is 9-1-1 in non-conference games and has allowed just four goals while the Bulldogs have allowed four goals in their two MVC losses. Following Tuesday’s road game, Drake (9-3-1, 0-2-0 MVC) hosts Illinois State on Saturday, Oct. 15 for a 7 p.m. game. UNI Live Stats last_img read more