The New York Knicks continue to be in hot pursuit of Derek Fisher for their head coaching job.
"As the Los Angeles Lakers remain cool on the pursuit of Derek Fisher as a coaching candidate, the New York Knicks continue to cement themselves as the strong frontrunner to hire him, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
"So far, the Lakers have expressed an exclusive desire to explore experienced head coaches in their search, and there isn't yet an indication that team officials plan to seriously consider Fisher for the job, league sources said.
"Los Angeles has so far interviewed four coaches about replacing Mike D'Antoni -- Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.
"Knicks president Phil Jackson has been eager to sell Fisher, 39, on the possibility of Jackson mentoring him as part of a direct move from Fisher's playing career into the Knicks head coaching job. Fisher is taking a few days to finalize his thoughts on the likely end of his 18-year playing career before fully engaging in talks to become a head coach.
"The NBA fined Jackson $25,000 on Monday for tampering after Jackson publicly said Fisher was a candidate for the Knicks' coaching job while he was still under contract with the Thunder. Jackson had told reporters last week that Fisher 'definitely is a person that's on my list of guys that could be very good candidates for the job.'
"Nevertheless, the Knicks and Fisher expect conversations to begin before the end of the week, league sources said.
"The Knicks' support system, centered on Jackson, is an attractive part of the job to Fisher. For all the allure of New York and Madison Square Garden, New York offers a faster route to a rebuild and the playoffs over the Lakers simply because of the disparity in strength between the Eastern and Western Conferences.
"Fisher played parts of 13 seasons with the Lakers, winning five championships under Jackson."
Jackson's meeting with Fisher later this week was also affirmed by ESPN New York.
"Phil Jackson's first substantive chat with Derek Fisher about the New York Knicks' coaching job is scheduled to take place this week, according to sources close to the situation.
"Sources told ESPN.com Monday that Jackson is planning to connect with Fisher by week's end, giving the Oklahoma City Thunder guard some time to decompress after his team was eliminated by (the) San Antonio (Spurs) Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
"One source cautioned that the discussion shouldn't be classified as a formal interview, given the long and close working relationship between Jackson and Fisher during their two stints together as coach and player with the Los Angeles Lakers.
"But another source close to the process told ESPN.com that he thinks Fisher will ultimately find the allure of coaching in New York under Jackson too difficult to pass up.
"Fisher said Sunday he remains undecided about retirement, but sources say Jackson continues t hold out hope he can persuade the 39-year-old to make the immediate jump to coaching -- as Jason Kidd did last season with Brooklyn -- after Fisher's 18 seasons as a player.
"'I'm still struggling with the results of (the series),' Fisher told local reporters Sunday. 'I haven't (had) a chance to talk to my wife and kind of step back emotionally from the end of the season.
"That's important to do, so that whatever is next, there has to be separation from the end of the season and what just happened and then I can go from there.'"
The New York Times' William C. Rhoden identifies the other candidates for the Knicks head coaching job as former Knicks player and Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson and former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.
The 39-year-old Fisher has averaged 8.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his 18-year NBA career with the Lakers, Warriors, Utah Jazz, Thunder and Dallas Mavericks, per ESPN stats.