Since Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, there is a long list of possible candidates. While Kobe Bryant “will wish for” Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, an interesting name has come up: former Laker and current Thunder guard, Derek Fisher.
With this likely being Fisher’s last season in the NBA, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports says the Lakers coaching job holds tremendous appeal to the five-time champion:
Once the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season ends, Fisher will have a willingness to listen to coaching, front office and broadcasting possibilities. As for the Lakers’ coaching job, it holds tremendous appeal to him, sources with knowledge of his thinking told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday night.
While it is risky to hire a head coach with any prior experience, Fisher commands respect and having him as the next coach could position the franchise to land his current teammate, Kevin Durant in 2016:
Superstars want desperately to consider the Lakers in free agency, but they won’t go anywhere based only on geography and banners. They’ll need to see an infrastructure of talent, management structure and coaching. Durant will want a culture, and Fisher could’ve grown into the job by ’16 to sell him on the Lakers’ brand.
This season, Jason Kidd became the first player to retire and immediately become the head coach of an NBA franchise. While there was an adjustment period, the Brooklyn Nets were able to climb out of their early season hole and into the playoffs.
With the Lakers immediately looking for their next head coach, this is their most important off-season since 2003-04. After firing Mike Brown five games into the 2012-13 season and Mike D’Antoni resigning, hiring the right coach will be extremely crucial for the franchise. While there are great options available, bringing back Fisher to the organization could help lure superstar free agents such as Kevin Durant.
BREAKING: Mike D’Antoni OUT, Resigns As Lakers Head Coach