Veteran Derek Fisher has seen it all in his 18-year career. Unfortunately, the ride might be coming to an end as the 39-year-old is seriously contemplating retirement. The good news for fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks is that Fisher is considering a job in coaching, which would be a boost for either organization.
Fisher won five NBA championships under Phil Jackson while with the Lakers. That connection alone is why Fisher is one of several candidates to become the new head coach of the Knicks. Jackson wants the next coach in New York to be someone he has worked with before, which Fisher clearly fits the criteria. On top of that, he wants someone with solid playing experience and proven leadership qualities.
With a job opening in Los Angeles, Fisher also could be a legitimate candidate to coach the Lakers. Even though New York is probably a more realistic spot for him because of Jackson, it would not be outside of the realm of reality to see him on the sidelines at the Staples Center next season.
“There’s for sure huge layers added to [the decision],” Fisher said, according to ESPN. “The personal relationship and professional relationship that I’ve had with Phil Jackson over the years, and being in the position that he’s in. And also, with the Lakers having an opening, it for sure adds layers to it. But like other important decisions in life, I don’t think you can be driven by what’s going on externally. You have to have an internal set of boundaries and just kind of a compass that you make decisions by. I’ll combine all those things as I try and make the best decision possible.”
Both organizations might prefer a candidate with actual coaching experience, but there’s no denying that Fisher is someone who could get the job regardless. His ability to make players around him better and capture the attention of everyone invested in the team is mesmerizing. It is everything a general manager, team president, and owner wants to see in a coach. He has made it clear that he wants his post-playing career to be one in which he is in a position to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Coaching is definitely a way to feed that need.
Fisher stated earlier this season that it would be his last. However, it does not appear he is ready to make a permanent decision at the moment. Even though no one will rush him to decide if it is time to retire, the possibility of coaching one of two outstanding franchises will not last forever.