Derek Fisher’s career as a player in the NBA is likely coming to an end. With one door closing another will open for the veteran with Fisher potentially on the verge of becoming a head coach in the NBA.
The last few years Fisher has seen his skills decline on the basketball floor, but he’s continued to play a major role on teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder with valuable leadership capabilities and knowledge of the game.
With Fisher’s season and playing career coming to an end, the five-time NBA champion will have a tough decision ahead with the Lakers and New York Knicks showing interest in his services as a coach. Although Fisher has yet to make his decision on whether he’ll be trying coaching, the NBA veteran admits having ties to both organizations in Los Angeles and New York makes it interesting moving forward.
Fisher said the following about the Knicks and Lakers head coaching vacancies, according to Royce Young of ESPN:
“There’s for sure huge layers added to [the decision],” Fisher said. “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.”
Following the overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals that ended his season and career as a player, Fisher made it clear that he’s going to take some time to make a decision. It seems as though Fisher is intrigued by the prospect of being a head coach, but isn’t sold on the idea just yet.
Unlike other first-time head coaches, Fisher will be in the unique position to interview for arguably the two most desirable head coaching positions in the NBA. New York and Los Angeles are the two biggest markets in this league with two of the biggest superstars in Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Along with the allure of the two major markets, these teams are at the beginning of an extensive rebuilding process that will prove difficult for any head coach to handle.
No matter which direction Fisher heads in, the soon-to-be 40-year-old will face significant challenges with no guarantee he can help turn around either franchise.
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