With Derek Fisher set to be announced as the New York Knicks head coach on Tuesday, Phil Jackson has finally found his man to be Mike Woodson’s successor. An interesting choice considering Fisher’s lack of coaching experience, but there’s definitely potential in Fisher becoming a leader on the sidelines after 18 years as a floor general in the NBA.
Now that the Knicks seem content with Fisher, questions remain about who will be on the first-time head coach’s staff next season. One name that may surface is former Laker Luke Walton.
While the Knicks were in talks with Steve Kerr about the head coaching vacancy, Walton had discussions with Jackson about a potential coaching position in New York. Jackson hasn’t reached out to Walton since Kerr took the job with the Golden State Warriors, but did tell the two-time NBA champion he’d be great coach in the future, according to an interview on The Herd with Colin Cowherd via ESPN’s Ian Begley:
“I’ve talked to Phil a bunch; thought about different things and I’ve talked to him in the past about coaching,” Walton said Friday during an interview on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “He’s told me he thinks that I’ll be a great coach someday.”
Even before Walton was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2012, many believed he had a future in coaching. Walton may not be among the most athletically gifted players to have ever come through the Lakers organization, but his basketball IQ always received high praise from coaches and teammates in Los Angeles.
With Fisher on the verge of being officially announced as the new head coach of the Knicks, the Lakers head coaching vacancy will draw that much more attention in the weeks leading up to the 2014 NBA draft.
GM Mitch Kupchak has let be known that the search for a new head coach is ongoing, but wants to have a coach in place before the draft on June 26. Walton has yet to be named as a candidate for the coaching vacancy in Los Angeles, but that could very well change.
Lakers Likely Draft Candidates