Knicks president Phil Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday for his remarks about Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher, a league spokesman said.
During a meeting with beat reporters Friday, Jackson called Fisher a candidate for the Knicks' coaching vacancy. Because Fisher -- considered the leading candidate to coach the Knicks -- is under contract with the Thunder, Jackson's remarks were viewed as tampering and the league penalized him.
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Fisher's season ended Saturday night when the Spurs eliminated the Thunder from the Western Conference finals. He said he needs some time to decide his next steps, but he and Jackson could speak later this week. ESPN reported that they are scheduled to talk by week's end. The Knicks will need permission from the Thunder first.
Fisher has been leaning toward retiring after 18 seasons as a player. When he met with the media Sunday in Oklahoma City, he said his "purpose in life or my calling, so to speak, is to be in a leadership position'' and that having Jackson, his former coach, pursuing him adds "layers'' to his decision.
Jackson has said he will have a coach in place by the end of the month.
Fisher, a beloved player for the Lakers who helped them win five NBA titles, and his family live in Los Angeles, and he has said he expects to speak with the team about its coaching vacancy. The Lakers reportedly have interest in him but might be more apt to pick an experienced coach.
Jackson, however, has said he would prefer someone with limited experience whom he can help mentor and who would follow his blueprint. Steve Kerr was Jackson's first choice, but he decided to take the Golden State Warriors' job. Jackson was the No. 1 attraction for Kerr and seems to be for Fisher, too.
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