Phil Jackson spoke to Derek Fisher, one of his top head coaching targets, on Wednesday (Wojnarowski, June 5).
The plan is for Jackson and Fisher to speak again early next week.
It’s expected that Fisher will spend the weekend making a final decision about whether to retire from playing.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Fisher has been “leaning strongly” toward ending his playing career in order to pursue coaching.
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterThough such news isn’t surprising, Fisher to the Knicks shouldn’t be considered a forgone conclusion. As New York ultimately learned with Steve Kerr, nothing is guaranteed.
Despite how likely things appear, the fact of the matter is that Fisher could still return to play another year.
When considering potential player turned head coach candidates, Fisher should stand atop of the list. The likes of Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson have proven in recent seasons that making such a transition can ultimately be a successful one for those well known leaders on the court.
Still, the unknown surrounding Fisher’s intentions to make this very transition right away is concerning, as it relates to the Knicks’ coaching search. Much like the Kerr courtship, all of New York’s focus appears to be on the five-time NBA champ. Jackson and co. are putting all of their eggs in one basket, but ultimately, could be left at the alter once again.
There are many possibilities. Fisher could return to play another year. He could decide he needs some time off after retiring from the game. What’s more, with his family based in Los Angeles, the veteran could also come to the conclusion that working in the Big Apple is simply too far out of the way.
There is certainly reason to be optimistic regarding Fisher’s credentials as a coach. Despite how unorthodox such a hire may be, he’s undoubtedly qualified. Having said that, perhaps the Knicks should also consider other options instead of going all in.
They’ve been burned before, so it’s important New York allows themselves enough time (with regard to the pursuit of Fisher) to pick up the pieces and target someone else, should Fisher opt not to come to the Big Apple.