Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Derek Fisher is reportedly being eyed by the New York Knicks for their vacant head coaching position.
"New York Knicks president Phil Jackson continues to send out signals that he's in no rush to hire a coach until he can seriously discuss the position with Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher, according to sources close to the process.
"Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday that Jackson is planning to proceed with a deliberate coaching search after the Knicks, convinced they were getting Steve Kerr, watched their runaway No. 1 candidate choose the Golden State Warriors instead."
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, who is Fisher's current head coach, told The New York Daily News' Frank Isola on May 18 that the veteran point guard would be a great head coach in the NBA some day.
"Derek will make a great head coach. He's smart, he knows the game and works hard. He's also played for one of the greatest coaches in sports history...and I'm not talking about myself, by the way.
"In the role that he has, he's done a great job for us this year.
"I think it would make a lot of sense for Derek to coach in New York. But there's no rush. If they wait a few more weeks they can talk to him.
"I don't think Phil would talk to him now anyway because Phil has too much respect for the game and Derek. He knows how hard it is to accomplish what we're trying to do here. But I hope they do speak at some point."
Isola also discusses Fisher's connection with Jackson, his former head coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, and other candidates the Knicks are seeking.
"Fisher, of course, played under Jackson in Los Angeles and has some of the same qualities that Jackson's first choice, Steve Kerr, possesses.
"If Fisher happens to make the immediate jump from retired player to head coach, it would not be unprecedented. Jason Kidd was a rookie head coach with (the) Brooklyn (Nets) after retiring last spring following his one season with the Knicks.
"Fisher, 39, is a candidate to become the next head coach of the Knicks along with Tyronn Lue, Luke Walton and Kurt Rambis. All have either played for or worked under Jackson.
"It is unclear if former Knick Mark Jackson, a sentimental coach for many Knicks fans, is a candiate. Jackson was rehired by ABC/ESPN on Saturday but can get out of his deal to accept a head coaching job.
"A person familiar with Phil Jackson's thinking insists the new Knicks president will hire someone he's either coached or worked with."
If Fisher eventually joins the Knicks organization, he could possibly work with Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen -- someobdy whom New York general manager Steve Mills spoke with on May 14 to discuss a potential role with the team, per The New York Post's Marc Berman.
"Knicks general manager Steve Mills huddled with Scottie Pippen for about 15 minutes Wednesday at Chicago's draft combine to gauge the legendary Bull's inerest in possibly working for the organization in some capacity, possibly as an assistant coach, according to an NBA source.
"Knicks president Phil Jackson, stung by the Steve Kerr rejection, would have interest in Pippen in some capacity, pending whom his new head coach is. Pippen, master of the triangle, has the title of advisor with the Bulls.
"When asked by The Post about potentially working with Jackson, Pippen said,'I havent' talked to Phil. I have to wait until the time comes. Right now nothing's out there. I'm not going to say whether I'm interested or not until it happens."
For his part, Fisher has averaged 8.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists with the Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Mavericks and Thunder in his 18-year NBA career through May 18, per ESPN stats.
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