NBA Rumors: Lakers ‘Cool’ On Derek Fisher As Coach as Knicks Jump To Forefront

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Derek Fisher

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It appeared as if the Los Angeles Lakers were waiting for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff run to wrap up so they could speak to Derek Fisher about their head coaching vacancy.

Apparently, that’s no longer the case.

Los Angeles has cooled their pursuit of Fisher as a head coaching candidate as the New York Knicks have jumped to the forefront, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Instead, the Lakers remain focused on hiring a head coach with more experience. Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy, Byron Scott, and Kurt Rambis have all reportedly interviewed for the position.

Meanwhile, the Knicks and team president Phil Jackson have made Fisher a Plan B since Steve Kerr spurned them to take the same position with the Golden State Warriors. Fisher played point guard under Jackson for nine seasons with the Lakers.

During his last meeting with the media on Sunday, Fisher said he was unsure whether he was going to retire or pursue a coaching opportunity. He said it was “still too early” to determine his future, but admitted he would like to pursue a leadership role such as coaching in the future.

He also said he has yet to meet with Jackson to discuss the Knicks’ vacancy, but expects to do so soon.

Yahoo! Sports reported Jackson being a part of the Knicks organization is one the more attractive parts of the position.

The Knicks’ support system, centered on Jackson, is an attractive part of the job to Fisher. For all the allure of New York and Madison Square Garden, New York offers a faster route to a rebuild and the playoffs over the Lakers simply because of the disparity in strength between the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Jackson and Fisher are expected to meet before the end of the week, and soon after it is likely we’ll have at least a clue if Fisher is going to be manning the sidelines at Madison Square Garden next season.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.