October 17, 2017

He's the reason why I started to watch basketball and became interested in the sport. He's the reason why at an undersized height of 5'8, I thought I had a chance at organized basketball, at least in my thoughts. The generations before mine grew up watching greats like Jerry West, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.

I had Allen Iverson.

I still remember the day I purchased his #3 Jersey, the home all white Jersey representing the Philadelphia 76ers logo and uniforms from 1997-2009.

On Saturday night March 1, 2014, the 76ers organization during a home game hosting the Washington Wizards, honored its former franchise player by retiring his jersey during halftime.

His Jersey was hoisted up to the rafters joining the likes of other retired numbers of #6 Julius Erving, #34 Charles Barkley, and #13 Wilt Chamberlain. It was a heart-warming ceremony in which past 76ers greats and some of Iverson's teammates, including Dikembe Mutumbo and Julius Erving among others, were in attendance on the floor to celebrate with him.

It's actually not ludicrous to mention his name among those greats. He was that good.

Iverson received an MVP award in 200. He made 11 All-Star appearances (2000-2010); he's a 2-time All-Star game MVP awards winner (2001-2005), a 4-time scoring champ (1999, 2001-2001, 2005) and a 3-time All-NBA First team member (1999, 2001, 2005). But, wait, there's more!! Iverson was All-NBA Second Team for three years (2000, 2002-2003); an All-NBA Third Team member (2006); the NBA Rookie of the Year for 1997; All-Rookie NBA First Team also in 1997, and a 3-Time NBA Steals leader three years in a row from 2000-2003.

An Olympian, Iverson was selected to be a part of Team USA for the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament which was held in Puerto Rico. Iverson averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game while helping the USA Team finish with a perfect 10-0 record.

Other than never taking a night off from stepping foot on the hardwood, Iverson's retirement resonates with me because of the cultural and revolutionary impact he has made as a professional athlete. The NBA's dress code from dress-down to casual and formal is a result of Allen Iverson.

The cross-over dribble becoming as popular as it is today, was a torch passed down from Pearl Washington to Tim Hardaway and then to Iverson who modernized it and elevated its variations to his own style. He incorporated the moves of the pickup games of the playgrounds into NBA arenas which made him box office. His clothing choices off the court prompted the general public to question his character which in result compelled Iverson to attach the famed metaphorical phrase to himself of "don't judge a book by its cover".

He was also a trendsetter, making the cornrows hairstyle a global necessity as everyone had to have it. A hairstyle mostly sported by criminals became accepted by the general public as Iverson stated in one of the best interviews conducted by sports journalist Stephen A. Smith of ESPN once upon a time on his show, "Quite Frankly," "I made it Alright." Iverson inspired a generation of people, specifically targeting the children, to not just play basketball, but to be themselves.

In a post-retirement interview, Iverson, regarding his on-court attire and gear which included a headband and an arm sleeve throughout the better part of his playing days, stated that I wanted to look like a superhero. Sporting the arm sleeve began during the 2000-01 regular season. Iverson wore the right arm sleeve recovering from an injury that affected his right elbow. If that's the case who's to say that same attire and compilation of on-court gear hasn't inspired the likes of Miami Heat F Lebron James and New York Knicks F Carmelo Anthony, two players known for sporting the headband and arm sleeve combo. He tried his crossover on a Hall-Of-Famer in Michael Jordan successful in his attempt as Jordan bit on Iverson's change of direction as he drifted to his right off the hesitation crossover pulling up for a jump-shot which was all net.

One of my favorite Iverson moves was a sequence of events where Iverson was draped all over by then Kings Forward Peja Stojakovic at the corner of the three-point line in which Peja's defense was so compressing, that Iverson dribbled the ball from his right hand to the other behind Peja's back to free himself off the corner.

It was plays like that one that drew me to Iverson as a player. I marveled at the fact that someone of such a small stature could dominate a game single-handedly to his advantage causing numerous problems for the opposing team's defensive alignments and strategies. I remember how tough Iverson was, relentless in attacking the basket despite the punishment he received in return resulting in several injuries occurring throughout his career. It didn't matter who suited up for the other team assigned to protect the rim, Iverson penetrated and more times than not, you can count two in. Fans root for their teams with all their energy, but when Iverson came to town, it was hard to send negative resentment in the form of boos his way because we all knew we were in attendance to see what he would do next.

There was no answer for "The Answer", a name given to Iverson by Shaquille O'Neal, an All-Time great as a center acknowledging Iverson's greatness.

Iverson has totaled a career of 79, 40-point games for the regular season, behind Wilt Chamberlain's 271, Michael Jordan's 173, Kobe Bryant's 117, and Elgin Baylor's 88. Iverson also had 11, 50-point games following Wilts 118, Jordan's 31, Bryant's 24, Baylor's 14 and Rick Barry's 13.

Sounds like pretty good company to me.

Although Iverson's career has featured incredible highs, trouble was not too far behind as Iverson experienced his share of public controversy and legal problems.

Iverson made national headlines for feuding with coaches he has played for because he disagreed with their principles and methods. A disappointing season due to the team's overall success in the mid-2000s called for an ugly divorce, as management and A.I. had a falling out which led to Iverson's departure from the Sixers.

This then started an NBA tour as Iverson made short stints with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Memphis Grizzlies from 2006-2010. Iverson played three games with the Grizzlies until his contract was terminated by both parties, Iverson and the Grizzlies management, came to an agreement to part ways.

With Iverson facing thoughts of retirement, an opportunity for one last stand to validate his value in the latter stages of his career arrived with the 76ers who offered Iverson a one-year deal for the duration of the 2009-10 NBA regular season on December 2.

Complications to his daughter's health halted Iverson's progress from completing the season as he attended to his daughter's aid.

After a brief stint in the Turkish Basketball League and declining an offer to play in the NBA's development league, Iverson's officially called it quits, retiring from professional basketball entirely on October 30, 2013.

The final chapters of an excellent career had finally closed which led us to the celebration of Iverson's career with his Jersey retirement ceremony on March 1.

Fans, basketball enthusiasts, and sports analysts would all agree that maybe if Iverson accepted a lesser role towards the tail end of his career, he could have achieved the most coveted award of being granted a chance at an NBA title.

But he didn't. He believed he was too great to come off the bench, a role that would hurt his pride in admitting along with the general public that he no longer was the player he once was. He had other ideas.

Because that alternate ending was not a reality let's just reflect on what was and is a Hall-of-Fame career.

Allen Iverson is one of the best little "big" men to ever play the game.

An all-time great.

".. I still feel in my heart and everything I believe that I'm the best Basketball Player in the World and the Best Basketball Player to Eva play this Game," Iverson once expressed.

Long live the Legend of "The Answer", Allen Iverson.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and reserves Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic all connected from behind the arc shooting 70% from three point range

Thank God, It's Friday, Right?

For the Brooklyn Nets, this is game No.75, as they host the Detroit Pistons, and this final regular season series between both teams favored the Nets for the first time all-season, The Nets defeated the Pistons, 116-104.

After failing to extend their winning streak to four straight games after taking a trip across the river to face their brothers from another borough in the New York Knicks, the Nets returned home looking to avenge that 110-81 loss. Determined to right their wrongs and protect their home-court, the Nets did exactly that plugging the Pistons, 116-104.

In winning, the Nets extended its franchise record of consecutive wins at home to 15 straight games.

This is a Pistons team that the Nets have struggled against all year in all three of their previous affairs, losing all three contests.

No motivation needed.

Message received.

Timing is of the essence and with a playoff berth guaranteed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets will look to use these last few games as tune-up sessions to further enhance their overall play and performance as they envision a deep playoff run.

For all intended purposes, it's game night and for those who missed tonight's action, this is what followed:

In the first half, following a 22 all conclusion of the first half, the Nets orchestrated a three-point barrage that gave them a comfortable advantage, achieving their highest point differential of 20 points.

Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and reserves Marcus Thornton and Mirza Teletovic all connected from behind the arc shooting 70% from three point range, 7-10, over a plus 5 min stretch, which aided the Nets improving their overall lead to 51-31 with 5:12 remaining in the second quarter.

Basketball is a game of runs, and like any other NBA team that enjoys an early substantial lead, the Nets botched their lead within the second quarter surrendering a 14-6 run courtesy of the Pistons who cut the deficit to 12, as the Nets progressed into the intermission period ahead 57-45.

And now your second half.

The Nets picked up where they left off in the first half, resuming their offensive efficiency from the field translating it to the second half.

The Pistons made an attempt to close the gap coming to within 10 points on an Andre Drummond put-back lay-up, now trailing 61 to the Nets 71 with 5:36 remaining in the 3rd, but their inability to produce stops on the defensive end of the floor only gave the Nets the benefit of the doubt in maintaining their lead.

With 5:13 left in the third quarter, a Brandon Jennings turnover was retrieved by Williams who spearheaded a one-man fast-break converting on the opposite end via a layup while absorbing a foul by Jennings.

A three-point play was rewarded as Williams sank his +1, and on the ensuing Nets possession, a Pistons turnover resulted in another three from "MT3" the nickname appointed to Teletovic by the Nets game announcer, draining his sixth three-pointer of the the night thus far, with both sequences extending the Nets lead to 17, 78-61 with 4:37 until the end of the 3rd quarter.

The Nets Public announcer addresses the crowd in attendance at every home game before the start of the 4th quarter advising the audience to help encourage the Nets to attain victory against all of their opponents, and in ending his address, commands the thousands in the stands to "Stand UP".

As the crowd stood, the Nets raised their efforts and gave the fans something to cheer about in the closing minutes of the final quarter.

The Pistons made their final attempt to bring drama to this game, slicing the deficit to single digits, down 9 points, 96-87 by a made free throw from Jonas Jerebko with 7:08 existing in the 4th quarter.

Despite the Pistons mission, it came to no avail as an alley-oop pass from reserve Andrei Kirilenko to Shaun Livingston converting with a one-arm slam while being fouled by Jonas Jerebko, gave Livingston a shot at a three-point play which he completed, increasing the Nets back to double-digits, leading 99-87, 6:57 left in the 4th.

More of the same followed from Livingston who connected on a turn-around bank shot with a little over five minutes remaining and a lane driving dunk with emphasis by Paul Pierce with 1:29 left till the resolution spelled their fate in a positive fashion.

The player of the game is reserve Teletovic, better known as "MT3", who continued to display his exploits from behind the arc and his reliability, adding six threes of 10 to the Nets cause, leading all bench scorers with 20 points.

Livingston led all Nets players with 23 points alongside Williams in the starting unit, showcasing his skills that warranted NBA recognition when he was selected 4th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Immediately following the Nets win, Livingston shared his thoughts to media correspondents from the Nets locker room regarding their performance at home.

"We've been playing well at this arena," says Livingston to media correspondents.

"I think it's a comfort zone and were just trying to build on the momentum that we have".

Like Livingston, Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd also addressed his team's performance in his post-game press conference, which he commented on the success the Nets enjoyed from downtown.

"The one thing that leads to threes is everyone being unselfish," said Kidd to media correspondents.

"When you're unselfish like that, you get the looks that we're getting from behind the three," Kidd continued.

I'd say it's been a successful year for first-year head coach Kidd, who's leading the same franchise that employed his services as a player and now as a coach to the playoffs in his initial head coaching gig.

The Nets stand motionless in seeding with the win, as they improve their overall regular season record to 41-34 currently cemented 5th in the eastern conference standings, looking up at the Chicago Bulls and ahead of the Washington Wizards.

Only seven games stand on the Nets schedule until the conclusion of their 2013-14 NBA campaign, embarking on a three-game road trip as they visit the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night, and back-to-back contest challenging the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic respectively.

The Nets have their postseason berth but the season isn't over.

These last few games feature what's wrong with the Eastern Conference and albeit a soft schedule ahead with the one exception in the Miami Heat, the Nets can utilize these games in integrating injured players like Kevin Garnett back into their rotations and fine tuning their overall team production.

With May in sight, it seems like everything is OK in Brooklyn, for now.

Excitement and anticipation were in the air when the Harlem Globetrotters came to Brooklyn and entertained thousands at the Barclays Center as part of the 2014 "Fans Rule" World Tour. The event was sponsored by Hojo, the official hotel partner of the Harlem Globetrotters; Greyhound; and Wonderful Pistachios. All the proceeds from the event went to World vision, an organization with a mission to help families around the world who are in poverty.

The pre-show started with the Harlem Globetrotter's mascot, Goldie, running on the court and receiving a loud reception from the crowd. Goldie and a couple of young children participated in musical chairs, freeze dance, and a dunking contest. The crowd stood on their feet as children from IS 228, the David A. Boody Middle School in Brooklyn, sang the national anthem. The Harlem Globetrotters came out and started their fancy basketball spinning and dribbling tricks against their opponents the All-Stars. The current roster of Globetrotters who entertained the crowd was Woody, Bull, Ant, Hot-Shot, Doc, Hawk, Titan, Turbo, and T-Time Brawner (who is the 10th female in history to join the Harlem Globetrotters). The coach for the Harlem Globetrotters was Barry Hardy, who played for the team for six years before coaching the Globetrotters for the past eight years.

They started dancing to old school music. Ant gave a little history about the Harlem Globetrotters, stating that they have been around for 88 years. They made fun of the All-Stars and the referee throughout the entire game. They called the referee Sherlock Holmes and made hilarious references to his bald head. Doc and Hawk made the first couple of points with some fancy dunks. The coach for the All-Stars dared the Globetrotters to perform trick challenges throughout the whole game. Bull passed the first challenge when he hung on the rim, threw the ball in the air with his feet and dunked the ball. T-Time ran on the court and made a quick pass for a monster dunk by one of the Globetrotters. She then showed a girl from the audience how to spin a basketball on her finger before showing off some nice ball moves against the All-Stars.

Woody missed his trick shot challenge when he attempted to make a layup while the ball was spinning on his finger. Turbo passed his challenge with dunking two balls at the same time. The second quarter started and the Globetrotters gave the All-Stars a balloon to make fouls shots. The crowd was loud with laughter as the balloon ended up in the air. Basketball player, Ant, covered his face with a SpongeBob Squarepants mask and pulled down the shorts of one of the All-Stars. He then Jumps up on the top of the basket and is told by the ref to get down. Old school music started playing and all the Globetrotters began to dance. Turbo made a 4-point basket near the middle of the court. The second quarter ended 61-59 All-Stars.

Young boys and girls from In the Spotlight Dance Studio, the ASL Club of IS 302, and the Rafael Cordero School from Brooklyn entertained the audience during halftime with dance performances. The second-half started and Hot Shot made a 360 dunk with the ball between his legs as part of his trick shot challenge. Ant continued to show off his shooting skills by making three 4-pointers in a row. The team then did the Harlem Shake. Ant passed his trick shot challenge when Bull and Hawk lifted him to the rim to dunk the basketball. The Globetrotters chose an 8-year old boy from the audience to make a basket so they could get Five (5) extra points, or if he missed then the All Stars would get the extra points. After two misses, the third time was a charm as the young boy made a basket, giving the Globetrotter the extra points. Towards the end of the game, the Globetrotters continued to show off their fancy dunks and comedic antics against the All- Stars. The Harlem Globetrotters won the game 112-105.

Basketball, entertainment, plus a good cause equals fun. The Harlem Globetrotters brought all three ingredients to Brooklyn and used the Barclays Center as a pot to mix everything together to serve fun for the fans of Brooklyn and beyond.

Video: What's The 411SportsTV Discussion about Donald Sterling

Ahead of the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, What's The 411SportsTV hosts Bianca Peart and Glenn Gilliam discuss the despicable and reprehensible racist comments made by Donald Sterling.

COMMENTARY

Now that some of the dust has settled following the NBA press conference and the Clippers victory, I'd like to offer a few thoughts on the recent revelations regarding the racist declarations and unfortunate history of discrimination by LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling and the varied responses to them.

First, what is most important and unfortunately, always under-reported when these racially charged events arise, is the connection this particular revelation has to the broader cultural context of institutional racism and plutocrat entrenchment evidenced in the real-time decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) last week that upheld the ban on affirmative action at the University of Michigan. The SCOTUS made this ruling while "legacy" for the rich and elite never gets touched and it also equated money to speech with the Citizens United decision.

Other issues with broader racial cultural context include: the vote on unionizing the student athletes at Northwestern University initiated by their black QB; the settlement paid by EA Sports to college football players after years of using their likeness for huge video game profits; recent election voter suppression efforts and the assault on the Voting Rights Act on its 50th anniversary; the difficulty in securing equal pay for women and by extension, blacks & Latinos; the obstacles to raising the minimum wage and fight against unions; the impediments to the President of the United States (POTUS) and Attorney General's efforts to roll back mandatory prison sentences against for non-violent drug offenders; the NFL's effort to legislate the N-word out of pro football after the Incognito vs Martin texting/bullying scandal; Riley Cooper's N-word outburst; Clive Bundy's rants about blacks and slavery; Paula Deen's racist comments; the beliefs that Mitt Romney holds that corporations are people and that 47% of Americans are freeloading, non-taxpayers that don't assume responsibility for their lives and are dependent on the government; and the continuing persecution of our first black POTUS by the right and Republicans.

Unfortunately, the list goes on and on. Occupy Wall Street, try Occupy NBA...NFL...MLB, you get the idea.

The thread that stitches all of these events together is the growing disparity between the 1% super affluent and the 99% middle and working class and poor and how race has historically been exploited to maintain the divide, increase power (economic & political) and a perpetual cheap labor underclass. Sterling represents all of these dynamics as Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor painstakingly recounted in his wrongful termination suit, "he wanted the Clippers team to be composed of poor black boys from the South, with a white head coach."

This is echoed in the comments Sterling made to his mistress, "I support them and give them food and clothes and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? As the New Yorker's Ben Greenman wrote on Twitter "It's not just Donald Sterling's ignorance that's the problem. It's the decades that ignorance has been tolerated because of wealth."

As far as what the NBA presented yesterday, while I don't share the euphoria that many expressed, including all past and present players, and Clipper fans, I'll credit the Commissioner with doing the minimum he had to do, given the global implications and urgency of enforcing some tangible punishment that would help stabilize the crisis and minimize advertiser and fan defections in the middle of their premier showcase, the PLAYOFFS. Timing is everything and I can only imagine if this recording showed up in July instead of April, during what most have observed as some of the best first round playoff basketball they can remember.

Crickets!

The massive assembled press, of at least 200 waited anxiously, leaning forward every time the podium door cracked open and after a prolonged delay, Silver emerged with all the stress of this first nightmare for his administration, etched on his bespectacled face. He expressed that he was outraged and distraught and said Donald Sterling is banned for life from the Clippers and the NBA. But he also curiously admitted during the Q&A, that Sterling's history of well-documented bigotry had no influence in determining the lifetime ban but the owners will include his public record of lawsuits and shameful prejudicial behavior and comments as part of their review in casting their vote to force the sale of the Clippers. Silver must have gone to the Chris Christie School of Incredulous Press Conferences, please.

Silver said he was "shocked" when he first heard the audio file and wished the audio recording was not Sterling or had been doctored and I could only conclude, that again, he appears to want to protect Donald Sterling and would assume David Stern felt the same when earlier allegations and lawsuits were filed. For Silver to say he was shocked either makes him exceedingly naïve, incompetent, or a fantastic liar only interested in maintaining the status quo and all of these are unacceptable. As written in an article for CBS Sports, Gregg Doyle makes it plain, 'Sterling's awful statements made it clear he considers African Americans beneath him and it didn't surprise anybody." Maybe if there was a black Commissioner or at least some C-Suite level blacks at the NBA, maybe there would be more sensitivity to actual discrimination that could be checked at the source early on.

"There's plenty of blame to go around. It's not only the NBA that allowed Donald Sterling to be Donald Sterling though. We did it, we accepted him. Hell, we enabled him. Every ticket you bought put money in his pocket. Every jersey you paid for. Every game that came and went without a protest outside Staple Center, by fans of the NBA, of basketball, of simple human decency. You allowed this. Every column we never wrote, begging the NBA to rid itself of the canker sore that owns the other franchise in LA. I accepted this. Every contract an NBA player and coach signed with Sterling, they enabled this."

Just as the Dow Jones winning corporations, media and by extension government lobbyist and the elected officials they control, didn't want to acknowledge or respond, except by police force, to Occupy Wall Street, so did the NBA wait until the last minute.

Going forward, fans, players, coaches, advertisers, sponsors, and guardians of the game at the Commissioner's level must not ignore the signals. We all must be well-informed, courageous, and vigilant about addressing all inequities when confronted or known. If necessary, we must protest, direct our dollars, support firms or organizations that value our community in order to make substantive progress. We draw the line in the sand here, no one-- owners, commissioners, or the so-called entitled is above scrutiny or sanctions.

Lastly (for now), I think Adam Silver owes Elgin Baylor a long overdue apology, just saying.

This commentary is the opinion of Glenn Gilliam and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of What's The 411 Networks

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @411SportsTV

File this one under heartbreaking.

I heard this story about Isaiah Austin's fate while listening to ESPN's Mike and Mike this morning.

Austin was making preparations for this year's NBA Draft, which is only three days away.

He was all set to light up the NBA despite his partial blindness.

However, Austin's trip to the NBA, as a player is not in the cards. A pre-Draft physical uncovered a rare genetic disorder that affects his heart.

The former Baylor University center, who left school early to enter this week's NBA draft, has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, which affects the body's connective tissue.

Features of the disorder are most often found in the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints, and eyes.

Some Marfan features – for example, aortic enlargement (expansion of the main blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body) – can be life-threatening.

Miracles can happen and we hope that a miracle or scientific breakthrough will happen so that Mr. Austin can fulfill his lifelong dream.

Phil Jackson Selects Derek Fisher to Coach New York Knicks

June 10, 2014, signaled a date in New York Knicks history that we can actually acknowledge as the start of the Phil Jackson era, finally.

As we all know by now, Jackson was appointed the President of Basketball Operations for the Knicks earlier this year. As good as it felt to have the knowledge that Jackson, the owner of 11 championship rings as a coach was joining the Knicks in a management role, overseeing basketball operations, there is still a bit of uneasiness. Yes, there is nervousness because we have no evidence that his great coaching will translate into great management.

Although, Jackson relieved then Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson as one of his first orders of business. Hiring Woodson's replacement was a little problematic, as Jackson's first choice, Steve Kerr, a TNT basketball color analyst, bowed out and signed on with the Golden State Warriors.

But, June 10, 2014, signaled a day when Jackson stepped forward into the future of the Knicks franchise making his presence felt in NY besides occupying a seat at an occasional Knicks home game. He hired a coach. He hired someone he could trust. He hired someone who knows his basketball philosophies. He hired someone he has coached and he hired someone he has won championships with. He hired Derek Fisher. On June 10, 2014, it became official that Derek Fisher would become the newly minted Knicks floor manager from the bench,

It makes sense. After failing to lure Kerr, his initial target, Jackson went with the next best thing. In seeking the right candidate to fill the shoes that Jackson has mastered as a head coach, Jackson required a young mind, someone, he has ties with and is also comfortable with, and most importantly, someone who understands the triangle offense, the coaching strategy that Jackson has implemented throughout the duration of his head coaching career.

Fisher fit the bill. Is this hiring a result of the success that first-year head coaches have enjoyed in most recent times? It's difficult to dismiss what Jason Kidd has accomplished in the neighboring borough of Brooklyn. Kidd steered the Nets to 44-38 finish, earning a second-place finish in the Atlantic Division, as well as a trip to the second round of the 2014 postseason.

How about Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix? He transformed a team that only won 25 games during the 2012-13 Season into a team that won 48 games this year. Not to mention David Joerger who spearheaded the Memphis Grizzlies attack, exceeding Hornacek with 50 wins. Those are just a couple of examples, but I think in the eyes of someone like Jackson, he seems like the kind of guy who will do exactly what he wants to do, and in adding Fisher he did just that.

For those who do not know Derek Fisher, he is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. He played collegiate basketball at the University of Arkansas for four years and is a member of one of the most celebrated draft classes in NBA History. Fisher holds a career average of 8.3 points and 3.0 assists. Fisher didn't exactly light the world on fire during the NBA season, but the reason why he is a household name is because of what he was capable of producing when the lights shined the brightest. I'm referring to the NBA postseason. That's how I will remember Fisher. Fisher possesses NBA records of 259 playoff games played, winning 161 of those games. He has five rings to serve as evidence. Some would even argue that other than Shaquille O'Neal, Fisher played a pivotal role in aiding Kobe Bryant to secure the championships he won early in his illustrious career.

For all the key defensive stops, steals, big shots and breakout performances Fisher has accumulated throughout the NBA postseason, one particular series of events stands out more than most. The 0.4 shot. During Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, Fisher, then suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers, down 73-72 caught an inbound pass from teammate Gary Payton, only to catch the ball, turn and force a shot up all within 0.4 seconds to give the Lakers a 74-73 win, and a 3-2 series lead.

Fisher delivered a 100% effort every night he stepped on the court whether it was a defensive move, doing the dirty work, or guarding the opposing teams best perimeter player. When called upon he responded, and there's no reason why I feel that he won't do the same as a coach. Fisher was tough, strong-minded, a character guy and a competitor, all characteristics we can expect will allow Fisher to make a smooth transition to the bench, this time around wearing a suit. Fisher is well-respected around the league, and beloved by all of his peers.

"He's a smart guy, smart mind," says Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "He's a great motivator, great speaker and can really relate to a lot of guys and demands that respect from everybody," Durant continues.

"I think he can be a great coach," TNT analyst Reggie Miller expressed during the Spurs and Thunder playoff series.

As Fisher is small in stature, his heart made up for his lack of size displaying an all for one team basketball inspired play that generates interest and support. If that doesn't influence your belief in the job that Fisher is capable of doing, look no further than his introductory press conference held by the New York Knicks at their training facility.

"I look forward to sharing my experiences with my players, and helping to reestablish a championship culture," says Fisher while addressing the NY media in attendance.

Here's another one. "This is not for Phil and I to just hang out again as friends," says Fisher, in which he concludes that statement by adding, "We want to add more banners to this ceiling here."

How Fisher and Jackson will go about their business in doing so is intriguing and yet worrisome, but the power, sternness and matter-of-fact tone in which Fisher articulated throughout his press conference leads me to believe that he will do just that. I'm encouraged. The only problem facing Fisher is the obvious fact that he has never coached before on any level. He has never occupied the bench as an assistant head coach or even as an intern.

Jackson made it clear that in the beginning of Fisher's tenure in New York, he will be very hands-on, most notably participating in their training camp where Jackson expressed that a co-operation will be in effect. Fisher has to gain the respect of his players.

He's Fisher and certainly not Kidd. See Fisher wasn't a superstar in this league the way Kidd was. As head coach, Kidd received near-instant credibility from his players. Fisher will have to earn his. I believe he can do it. I believe in Fisher. I believe that he can mold the Knicks to play like champions like he once did. I believe a Fisher coached team could exhibit the same characteristics that Fisher displayed while he graced the hardwood as a player in being strong, tough, defensive minded, as well as, adopting and instilling an all-team mentality.

It's hard to not believe in a guy who has won at the highest level attainable not to mention five times. When a deal like this comes into focus and becomes official, I have only one question for Jackson: Why wasn't Fisher the initial candidate?

The San Antonio Spurs win 2014 NBA Championship and avenge last season's NBA Championship loss against the Miami Heat by beating the Heat 104-87

The What's The 411Sports hosts and reporters Glenn Gilliam, Bianca Peart, Gregory Alcala, and Christopher Graham talk about the San Antonio Spurs victory over the Miami Heat.

We also revisit their NBA Finals predictions. Hilarious!

I know it's a longshot prediction, but do you think the Spurs will be able to win again next year?

VIDEO: Book Signing for NBA Legend Walt "Clyde" Frazier

After 36 years, NBA legend and the man who brought bling to the NBA, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, re-launched his book, ROCKIN' STEADY, at an event held at the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem.

Capturing every moment, What's The 411TV correspondent Andrew Rosario spoke to former NY Knicks guard Walt Frazier; Ira Berkow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and co-author of ROCKIN' STEADY; Good Morning America Anchor Josh Elliott and; Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention's medical team of Dr. Harold P. Freeman, President, and Chief Operating Officer and; Dr. Brian Harper, Medical Director.

An historic game and blowout 106-89 win for the Brooklyn Nets over the Chicago Bulls; Lopez has stellar performance and Williams finally brings his "A-Game"

New York City is known the world over for its skyline. Saturday, the bright colors of orange and blue dominated the afternoon skyline with a New York Knicks win over the Boston Celtics. Later in the evening, those colors faded to black, as the Brooklyn Nets took center stage and the stars shimmered brightly against the skyline with the Nets blowout 106-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls. I took a mini survey about the pulse of the Nets while at a few local bars watching the two preceding playoff games. And quite frankly, I didn't like what I saw from Brooklyn, NY. There was not enough black and white nor a lot of chatter about this historic first major postseason game in Brooklyn since October 10, 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. This is a monumental game for the Brooklyn Nets, which are in a 4 versus 5 NBA Playoff match-up against the Chicago Bulls. At the outset, I thought this engagement would be very physical and feature some great match-ups, as the two big-city teams clashed.

NBA Playoff Basketball is all about position battles. Two match-ups basketball fans are clamoring for are the all-star center battle between Joakim Noah of the Bulls and Brooklyn's all-star center Brook Lopez, and guard Deron Williams versus Chicago's MVP Derrick Rose. Basketball enthusiasts received good news at the pregame press conference when Chicago's head coach Tom Thibodeau announced Noah looked good earlier in the shoot around and will play tonight. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about the point guard match-up because although Rose practices with Chicago, he did not suit up tonight to face Deron. However coach Thibodeau didn't rule him out for the series, so there still maybe hope for fans to see the dream match up.

I asked earlier would Brooklynites be ready to cheer on their home team in this historical event and quite frankly this was the most boisterous crowd all season and was a key to the Brooklyn Nets first playoff victory.

Right out the gate in the first quarter, you could tell Deron brought his A-game. I have not seen him move so fluid on offense and defense in a Nets uniform. He set the tone early for playoff basketball. His energy was at a gear unlike other games; he had nine points and one assist while he blanketed the other starting point guard Kirk Hinrich leaving him 0 of 0 in the first quarter. Also Lopez was huge in the first quarter. He dominated the banged Noah who also had 0 points while Lopez had 12. Lopez came out soft shooting four straight jump shots and missing then did a nice post move dunk on Carlos Boozer which really got him going for the rest of the night. The Nets were up 25-14 after the first quarter and never looked back.

The Nets shot 55.8% field goal shooting against one the leagues best defensive teams and its bench scoring was phenomenal getting 12 from Andray Blatche and 10 from C.J. Watson.

Williams said during the postgame talk that with his "Double Pump Dunk", he just wanted to show the guys that next year they should put him in the Slam Dunk Contest.

This was a great win in a great playoff atmosphere in Brooklyn.

Game 2 for the Nets vs. the Bulls will be on Monday, April 22 at 8:00 pm. Hopefully, Deron Williams can keep up this intensity for the rest of the playoffs.

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