The Lakers have little to no interest in bringing wily old (and soon to be retired) veteran Derek Fisher on as their next coach.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said recently that the Lakers are primarily interested in experienced coaches for their job. Thus far, the team has interviewed George Karl, Kurt Rambis, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy Sr., and some big Byron Scott fan named Byron Scott for the gig. All candidates have prior head coaching experience in the league.
Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks, on the other hand, are very interested in the possibility of hiring Fisher. Jackson said earlier this week that Fisher “definitely is a person that’s on my list of guys that could be very good candidates for the job.”
Side note: that comment by Jackson earned him a $25,000 fine for tampering since Fisher is still under contract with the Thunder.
A league source says talks between Fisher and the Knicks are expected to begin this week. It’s easy to see the appeal of this job to Fisher. He would be taking over a team in a huge market in the weak Eastern Conference all while being mentored by one of the best coaches of all time. Sounds pretty ideal.
Of course, Fisher hasn’t even officially declared his retirement yet. Everything he and Jackson have said recently seems to indicate that it’s just a matter of time until he does, though. He told reporters in Oklahoma on Sunday that he expects discussions between him and teams about coaching possibilities to begin soon.
"Interview is a strong word at this point," Fisher said. "I haven't had any conversations with any executives ... Phil Jackson or the Lakers. There'll be conversations and talks at some point. This is still pretty raw and pretty fresh (with) what happened. So for the next day or two I want to make sure I respect whatever my future holds. Then as soon as possible I'll try to take the next steps."
If Fisher becomes the Knicks next head coach, two of the three best point guards in New York City will be coaches.