The New York Knicks have serious interest in hiring former Laker Derek Fisher as head coach.
Knicks president Phil Jackson hasn’t been shy about talking about the Fisher possibility, resulting in a $25,000 fine by the NBA for tampering.
A team representative is not permitted to talk about acquiring a player under contract with another franchise -- an issue since Derek Fisher was actively trying to get the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals over the past few weeks.
“He’s definitely a person on my list, who could be a very good candidate for this job,” said Jackson of Fisher recently to reporters in New York.
On Saturday, the San Antonio Spurs knocked the Thunder out of the Western Conference Finals in six games.
Fisher is signed with Oklahoma City through June 30. If the Knicks would like to interview him before then for the team’s open coaching position, they’ll need to get permission from the Thunder.
So, too, would the Lakers, who are also expected to contact Fisher as a possible replacement for Mike D’Antoni.
While Fisher doesn’t have the experience of the other Lakers’ candidates (Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Alvin Gentry, Mike Dunleavy and Kurt Rambis, to name a few), he would be a progressive choice given his personality as a leader, history with Kobe Bryant, ties to the Lakers and his relationship with NBA MVP Kevin Durant.
The allure of coaching for Jackson in New York may win out, especially if the Lakers are slow-moving in their pursuit -- as they have been since D’Antoni resigned on April 30.