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New Sparks coach Derek Fisher wants a title ‘as soon as possible’

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersSparks general manager Penny Toler said during a 50-minute question-and-answer session at the Luxe City Center Hotel that she and Fisher have known each other about 20 years, and that he used to attend Sparks games when he played for the Lakers.“What came to mind with Derek,” Toler said, “is here’s a guy who I’ve known and has been with us forever. … From time to time, Derek and I would have conversations to talk about the (Sparks) and I would tease him, ‘Come and coach.’“It’s all about timing,” she added. “When Brian (Agler) wanted to resign, I thought, ‘Here’s a guy who has some experience. Good or bad, it’s still experience.’”The Sparks, winners of three WNBA championships, are among the three surviving franchises from the league’s original eight in 1997. They boast a veteran roster that includes Parker, the 2008 and 2013 WNBA MVP, as well as 2016 WNBA MVP Nneka Ogwumike. Last season, they went 19-15 and placed third in the West before losing in the conference semifinals.Fisher, who played 18 NBA seasons, replaces Agler, a decorated women’s basketball coach who led the Sparks to the 2016 title, the second of his two WNBA championships. LOS ANGELES — Sparks forward Candace Parker wore her 2016 WNBA championship ring to Friday’s introductory news conference, where she sat beside her new head coach, Derek Fisher – a five-time NBA champion for the Lakers.“I want more,” Parker said, referencing her ring, and Fisher said he understood his star player’s mandate.“I’m thankful and I’m grateful and I’m going to do the best job I can possibly do to win a championship as soon as possible,” Fisher said.The Sparks job is Fisher’s second head coaching position, following a short-lived tenure with the New York Knicks, who were 17-65 in Fisher’s first season and started 23-31 in his second before he was let go by then-Knicks president and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Toler said his resignation “wasn’t a force-out or anything; when he wanted to resign, I accepted the resignation.” She added she didn’t ask why, because Michael Cooper – the former Lakers star and Sparks coach – used to say to “only want people who want to be here.”The Sparks announced Agler’s resignation Nov. 30 and news of Fisher’s hiring broke Wednesday, via a tweet from NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.Toler indicated she’d had several discussions with Fisher – who asked “about 2,000 questions” – as well as members of the Sparks’ front office and Parker before she hired the 44-year-old former point guard.“All coaches get hired and fired,” Fisher said with regard to his time in New York. “What Penny said about learning through adversity, evolving and growing – the book is not finished yet. If you open a book and it’s 300 pages long, you can’t assume how it’s going to end on page 57. You’ve got to read the whole book. This is a good opportunity for me to write my coaching book.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.He said his stint in New York taught him lessons he’ll employ in L.A., including that he needs to emphasize communication. He also said his playing experience with the Lakers will help lead a team in an increasingly fluid, position-less style of game.“The championship teams I played on here in L.A. in ’09-10, even ’08, we had Lamar Odom at the four and Pau Gasol at center and (Trevor) Ariza and Kobe (Bryant) and myself,” Fisher said. “There was a versatility to the game, five players that all could make good decisions with the basketball, who all could shoot, all could defend. This roster has the framework in a very similar way.”Fisher said he had conversations with representatives of college programs and other professional teams prior to accepting the Sparks’ offer, but he said he doesn’t view his new position as a stepping stone to another NBA coaching job.“I’m here,” said Fisher, adding he and Toler have yet to begin filling out a staff that he hopes will help the team increase its pace of play. “There isn’t a future outside of what we’re here to talk about today. I’m the coach of the L.A. Sparks and that’s what it is. And I’m happy about it.”Parker said she was a proponent of Fisher’s hiring because she’s excited about his championship pedigree.“He’s won championships,” she said. “And until I won a championship with L.A., I didn’t realize how much it matters to have that experience and knowledge.”last_img read more

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Dogo wins ‘bet’ against Malawi’s Chawinga

first_imgJust like a good competitor, Chawinga accepted the loss and immediately after the match unlaced her boots and handed them to Mwanahalima who was still smiling in glee after finding the back of the net twice.Speaking after the game, Mwanahalima says she was excited that the team was through to the third round and vowed they will look to replicate the same result when they face either Gabon or Ghana.“It was a tough game because Malawi is not an easy side. We had planned for them after what we saw in the first leg and we executed our plan well. I am happy also to have scored a brace but not very excited because as a striker, that is my job,” said the pint-sized forward.Speaking to Capital Sport after the game Chawinga said Kenya were deserved winners, noting her side was punished because of mistakes.“That is how football is. You make mistakes and you are punished. We have to do better as a team next time. We were not well organized and all of us didn’t give enough effort. Kenya is a good team and they have so much depth,” she said.“I have played against some of the players before at COSAFA and only like three players are still in the team. They have so many new faces but still they are a very strong team. Unlike us, we have just had the same team,” added the forward.0Shares0000(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Starlets forward Mwanahalima Adam won a bet against Malawi’s Tabitha Chawinga who handed her her boots after the game. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMACHAKOS, Kenya, Sep 1 – Harambee Starlets striker Mwanahalima Adam won a bet against Malawi’s Chinese based forward Tabitha Chawinga after scoring twice to help the Kenyans sail through to the third round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers in Machakos on Sunday.Adam, nicknamed Dogo had placed a bet with Chawinga that if Starlets won the second leg, she (Chawinga) would give her a pair of boots.last_img read more

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