There's been plenty of speculation on who Phil Jackson could bring to New York to fill out Derek Fisher's coaching staff. In fact, recently Kurt Rambis was hired to be Fisher's right-hand-man. That being said, a coaching staff doesn't consist of a head coach and one assistant. Clearly more coaches were going to be brought in. The New York Knicks did exactly that when they brought in Rasheed Hazzard and Joshua Longstaff to help the teams' first-time head coach.
New York Knicks' Derek Fisher has his work cut out for him as a first-time head coach. One of the best ways to help him succeed is to surround him with a solid supporting cast. That's beginning to take form as the Knicks unofficially made two additions to his coaching staff.
Rasheed Hazzard is the son of former UCLA coach Walt Hazzard. He's served in a variety of roles with the Los Angeles Lakers, including as an advance scout and special assistant on Phil Jackson's staff.
He even spend time with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League as an assistant coach. He's known as a high character person and an extremely hard worker.
Clearly, the ties are strong to both Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher. Unfortunately, Hazzard is probably best known for when the Lakers' arena announcer forgot to call his name during a championship ring ceremony.
Joshua Longstaff is a former member of the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. He worked in the Thunder's video department, a place Fisher was known to spend a lot of time in as a player. His hiring indicates that this was a guy Fisher wanted around instead of the staff being made up of solely former Jackson associates.
An interview from May with Chris Shorr of the Bangor Daily News shed more light on Longstaff and his duties with the Thunder.
CS- “What is your role on the team?”
JL- “My role with the team is player development and video analyst. I work with the players on the court everyday helping them to work on their game. That also includes watching film with them and spending time listening to their concerns and formulating a plan to help them in any way possible. The video part of my job consists of doing opponent scouting reports and putting together edits on the other teams personnel and play calls. This helps paint a picture of our opponents’ identity to our players.”
CS- “What do you do during games?”
JL- “On game days I am at the arena on the court four hours before tip-off helping our players warm up on the court. During the game I am mostly in the locker room watching the game live through a computer and putting in all of the information on what happens in each possession. As I am doing that in the first half, I am also making a halftime edit to show the coaches and they pick out a few of the things to show the team and make adjustments for the second half.”
Hazzard and Longstaff haven't signed contracts yet but will be on Derek Fisher's coaching staff. At this point, it's just about making it official.
Fisher said he will probably add two more assistant coaches.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 8, 2014
Now, don't take that number to the bank. There could be three, maybe four. Frank Hamblen is still unemployed. Jim Cleamons is an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks. However, he might want to come to New York instead of working under Jason Kidd. Bill Cartwright is another strong candidate as on of Jackson's former assistants.
They are all still possible assistants for Fisher's staff and all three would be an asset to the Knicks. Until other moves are made Fisher's staff consists of Rambis, Hazzard, and Longstaff. Now, cue the last name jokes.Tags: Basketball, Derek Fisher, Joshua Longstaff, Kurt Rambis, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phil Jackson, Rasheed Hazzard