The New York Knicks may have their sights set on Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher, but the team is reportedly planning to pump the brakes on its head coaching search after losing out on Steve Kerr.
Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN report that the Knicks are "planning to proceed with a deliberate coaching search" and Fisher had this to say about his potential future in coaching:
"I would tell people to allow me to finish my career as a player before they give me another job after that. It's humbling, just to think about people thinking of me in that manner, especially while I'm still playing. [But] I promise you this is the last thing on my mind at this point. I really haven't thought about it that much. Hopefully there's a lot of basketball left to be played this season for sure. Once that's done we'll go from there."
The biggest obstacle to potentially linking Fisher to the Knicks has always been his status as an active player, but if New York is willing to wait, that could illustrate significant interest on their end. Fisher is certainly some who commands respect around the league after an impressive playing tenure, and he would also fit the qualifications of being someone who has been affiliated with Phil Jackson throughout his coaching career.
The 39-year-old Fisher has appeared in 13 postseason games for the Thunder, averaging 3.0 points per game on just 27.3% shooting from the field. However, Scott Brooks has been decisive in relying on Fisher as a potentially crucial piece for their playoff run, making it no surprise that the veteran point guard would want to deflect from any head coaching chatter.
It remains to be seen whether the Knicks would be satisfied without a big-time "splash" for Jackson's first hire -- something that Fisher could not claim to be -- but with their high-profile strikeout with Steve Kerr, it may benefit New York to be cautious as they proceed.