Wow, what an amazing day for former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, who inked a five-year, $25 million deal to become the head coach of the New York Knicks just days removed from his final NBA season. Not only is D-Fish deserving of the opportunity, but he is the perfect candidate to begin aiding Phil Jackson in his attempt to resurrect the Knicks. Alongside Fisher, several other former Lakers are likely to be hired as assistant coaches including: Luke Walton, Rick Fox and Kurt Rambis. Basically, the Knicks are becoming the Lakers of the East, especially after signing Lamar Odom as well.
Furthermore, one of those assistant coaching candidates had some extremely interesting comments regarding his former teammate Kobe Bryant‘s future, stating: “I would not put it past him […] If there is not a real opportunity for [Bryant] to win a championship there, the thought of him leaving may shock Lakers fans, but I wouldn’t put it past him going in search of one or two more championships. Personally, I think it’s going to get done in New York. I really do. I just believe in Phil. I’ve been around him. I know Kobe has had his greatest success with Phil in a leadership capacity. So the reuniting of the two is not an unrealistic thought.”
Let’s take a step back for a second to absorb what we just read. Yes, Fox believes that there is a strong possibility Bryant bolts from Los Angeles, reuniting with former coach Phil Jackson to make one last run at a title. Shocking, I know. First and foremost, if this were to ever occur it would likely have to occur after Bryant rides out his two-year, $48.5 million extension signed back in November. There’s simply no way Jackson would ever consider trading for such a steep salary. Secondly, just the thought of Bryant suiting up in colors other than purple and gold makes me cringe.
Eighteen years and counting with one team is certainly an impressive feat, so to think Bryant would ruin that trend seems highly unlikely. However, his recent comments toward management suggest displeasure with numerous decisions, the Mike D’Antoni hiring especially. Perhaps he becomes frustrated enough that he decides to leave the city where he has cemented himself into basketball history. We all know how he feels about Jackson and Fisher as well. Both have played vital roles in Bryant’s career success and both have been publicly recognized by Bryant himself.
With that said, Fox definitely makes a valid point. Again, I personally do not see this occurring, but crazier things have happened.