When the New York Knicks confirmed reports of the hiring of Phil Jackson as the next president of basketball operations a few weeks ago, other names associated with the most decorated NBA head coach had also surfaced the rumor mill.
Now, another name has emerged as a potential candidate for Jackson’s new-look Knicks. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Jackson hopes to bring Derek Fisher to New York. He referred to Fisher as a “natural leader with exceptionally emotional intelligence and finely tuned management skills.”
Fisher, 39, is currently in the final year of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The guard averages 5.3 points in 17.1 minutes a game. During the summer, Fisher announced that this season will be his last.
The 18-year veteran started his career with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 alongside fellow rookie Kobe Bryant, and won three championships until he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2006. He later spent a couple of seasons with the Utah Jazz and later returned to Los Angeles in 2007, where he won his last two titles. He won five NBA championships with the Lakers, all under head coach Jackson.
In a 2012 article from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Fisher was asked if he could see Jackson take over the Knicks. “Recognizing how competitive he is, and how much he still loves the game itself and from his great memories of New York, from that standpoint I wouldn’t be surprised,” Fisher said.