Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterSteve Kerr has been hired to coach the Warriors. It appears as though Brian Shaw will be staying put in Denver. And now, Tyronn Lue will reportedly be interviewing for the Cavaliers’ head coaching vacancy (Wojnarowski, May 25).
Don’t look now, but many of the Knicks’ top coaching candidates appear to be making other arrangements.
By now, it’s clear Phil Jackson prefers waiting to speak with Derek Fisher before moving forward with the Knicks’ coaching search. Whether or not that comes back to haunt the team, remains to be seen.
Of course, Fisher is still competing in the Western Conference Finals as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though there’s been talk of Jackson’s former point guard retiring at the end of this season, nothing is set in stone. In fact, OKC head coach Scott Brooks even suggested that it wouldn’t surprise him to see the five-time NBA champion return to play out one more season next year (Stein & Shelburne, May 19).
Even so, should Fisher in fact go on to retire, there’s no guarantee that he’ll want to transition into such a new role so soon. Right now, the veteran has said all of the right things and is being as politically correct about the speculation as can be. With that in mind, however, he hasn’t been one to tip his hand as to any plans for the future.
Interestingly enough, those who have made transitioning into becoming a head coach, not too long removed from their playing days, have made such a move an interesting trend. They searched for such positions all on their own. Mark Jackson openly campaigned for a job while serving as a commentator for ESPN and Jason Kidd actually reached out to the Nets about their respective opening last summer.
In those respective cases, it was easy to understand such candidates were ready to make the move. It doesn’t appear to be as clear cut when it comes to Fisher.
With that in mind, are Jackson and the Knicks digging themselves a potential hole while not exploring other options in the meantime? As they wait on Fisher, New York needs to be careful they don’t lose out on other candidates worth considering.
Should Fisher opt to play another year, decide he wants time off, or even find another gig instead (a la Kerr), the Knicks could be left grasping for straws. Perhaps it’d be best to start being a little bit more proactive about the process to ensure the best hire is made, regardless of whether or not it ends up being Fisher.