Sports Out West

Derek Fisher targeted by Phil Jackson, Knicks per report

Derek Fisher

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher is being recruited to join the head coaching ranks before he even steps off an NBA court for good as a player. 

According to ESPN.com, Fisher is the primary target for the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson, who joined the organization to oversee basketball operations in March.

The former Los Angeles Lakers champion was a key part of Jackson’s last five NBA titles as a coach as the team’s point guard. As a de facto coach on the floor, Fisher could be well-suited to roam the sidelines and call the shots as soon as he decides to retire. 

Thunder head coach Scott Brooks has indicated his veteran could still play another season, and Fisher himself has been quiet about his future plans as he focuses on helping Oklahoma City hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy come June. 

Jackson has been clear in the past that Fisher is a proven leader in his eyes. In the Lakers’ heyday, he said as much via Mike Bresnehan of the Los Angeles Times

“He’s definitely the spokesman for this team as far as leadership goes.” 

Those sentiments have seemingly remained at the forefront of Jackson’s mind when it comes to eyeing talent for the next head coach in New York. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has echoed the same thought on several occasions throughout he and Fishers time as teammates and beyond.

At this point, much like Steve Kerr, Fisher seems like the type of candidate who will have his choice of NBA jobs if and when he chooses. 

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Photo Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.