SEATTLE - If ever there's been an example of a crying need for a business agent in the world of sports, Steve Fisher is it.
Fisher is the interim head coach of the University of Michigan basketball team that will play for the national title tonight in the Kingdome against Seton Hall. The key word here is interim. As the free world knows by now, Fisher got the head job the day before the NCAA tournament began about three weeks ago, when Michigan Coach Bill Frieder accepted a job offer for next season from Arizona State.Michigan Athletic Director Bo Schembechler thought the move smacked of treason and relieved Frieder of his duties immediately, elevating Fisher, a Frieder aide, to the top job for the duration of the postseason, however long that turned out to be.
A lot of people thought that was rather tacky on Schembechler's part. Not the firing Frieder part, but the idea of hiring Fisher, who had given seven solid years to the Wolverines, on just a part-time, trial basis.
But that was three weeks ago, and this is now, and Fisher's team is not only playing tonight in the national championship game, he is also undefeated as a major college head coach.
He is 5-0. Perfect. Immaculate. Unblemished. Working a shutout. Batting 1.000. Yet to lose. Indomitable.
He knows how the Globetrotter's coach feels. All he's done is win. He is 1-0 against Dean Smith, 1-0 against Terry Holland, 1-0 against Lou Henson.
This is a man who has never tasted the bitter bile of defeat. He has never gone back to the hotel and wondered why him. His dog has never been kicked. He is yet to have to face the media after a loss. He doesn't know the meaning of the term, "gut-wrenching."
Already, he has been called a genius, a master psychologist, a teacher. A guru, even. He has only known wins, and praise. His players like him. The fans love him. In their eyes he has done no wrong - because he HAS done no wrong.
His every move has been a stroke of brilliance. When Sean Higgins rebounded a Terry Mills miss with two seconds to play to give the Wolverines ther 83-81 semifinal victory Saturday over Illinois, Fisher dead