With Steve Kerr out, Phil Jackson could turn to another former point guard. (Harry How/Getty Images)
In the wake of losing Steve Kerr to the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks seem to be in scramble mode with regard to hiring a new head coach. A seemingly never-ending list of candidates have been rumored to be interested in the open position, but now, a "leading candidate" has emerged according to one report, and it happens to be another former point guard to play under Phil Jackson.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News brings the latest:
Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher, who played under Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, is emerging as a leading candidate to join Jackson in New York now that Jackson's first choice, Steve Kerr, has agreed to terms with the Golden State Warriors. Fisher, of course, has zero head coaching experience, but Jackson believes that Fisher has the intelligence and work ethic to become successful if he happened to make the move from player to coach.
Jackson’s plan, according to a source, would be to assemble an experienced staff around Fisher that could potentially include Kurt Rambis and Bill Cartwright, two former NBA head coaches. Jackson thinks highly of Rambis, the longtime Lakers assistant, and there is a possibility that Rambis could be hired as a head coach.
There are numerous obstacles to the potential hiring of Fisher, but the first of them would be that the 39-year-old is still an active player in this year's NBA playoffs. Isola notes that Jackson has been quoted as saying that timetable isn't important for hiring a head coach, but with the scrutiny that he and the organization are under to find "their guy", the pressure will continue to build until the Knicks tab someone.
Fisher is highly respected around the league and would certainly fit into the category of being one of "Phil's guys", but at the same time, he wouldn't represent the same type of cache that Kerr would have presented or that a more established coach would command. If Fisher is Phil's next choice, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the waters go quiet for a week or two as the Thunder face off with the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, and that would be a great indication of Jackson's leanings.