Phil Jackson speaks with Derek Fisher
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The Knicks' coaching search, Part II, could pick up some steam next week.
A league source confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report that team president Phil Jackson spoke to Derek Fisher by phone Wednesday, and they reportedly will talk again next week.
Fisher became the Knicks' top candidate after Jackson's first choice, Steve Kerr, turned it down and took the Golden State Warriors' coaching job.
Yahoo! reported that Fisher will discuss his future with his family this weekend. The Thunder guard's season ended last Saturday in the Western Conference finals.
Fisher has been leaning toward retirement but hasn't made a final decision on his playing career yet. He also must decide whether he wants to make the move from Los Angeles to New York.
It's possible Fisher could have other suitors. His old team, the Lakers, and current one in Oklahoma City could offer Fisher some type of role in their organizations.
But Fisher is close to Jackson, his former coach with the Lakers. He was the point guard on Jackson's five championship teams in Los Angeles. Jackson considers Fisher a strong leader. Fisher also is well versed in the triangle offense, which Jackson plans to utilize with the Knicks.
Like Kerr, Fisher has no coaching experience. But Jackson, one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, would be the ultimate mentor.
Jackson has said the coaching search won't extend into July. He doesn't need to formally interview Fisher as much as learn from him what he wants to do with his future. If Fisher says he wants to coach, they likely will begin contract terms.
If Fisher says no, Jackson will turn to someone else from his inner circle. Among the possibilities include Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons, Rick Fox, Tyronn Lue and Bill Cartwright. Some of them could become Knicks assistant coaches, too.
There are other more experienced and successful coaches available such as Jeff Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, George Karl, Nate McMillan, Alvin Gentry and Mark Jackson. But Phil Jackson has said he wants to hire someone with whom he has a prior relationship.
The NBA fined Jackson $25,000 for tampering because he said Fisher was a candidate while he was still under contract with the Thunder.