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Derek Fisher confident he could coach Kobe Bryant

Jun 2, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder Reuters

I believe Kobe Bryant wants Derek Fisher to coach the Lakers next season.

Although the Lakers say they won’t consult Kobe on the hire and Kobe has not publicly endorsed a candidate, the Los Angeles superstar still has ways of sharing his viewpoint. I don’t think it’s coincidence this Adrian Wojnarowski article focused on Fisher. Wojnarowski is a longtime Kobe confidant, and the agenda is transparent.

For what it’s worth, the Kobe-Fisher interest sounds mutual.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:

There are several roadblocks to Fisher and Kobe living happily ever after in a coach-player relationship.

1. Fisher might not retire. He wasn’t too shabby in the Western Conference finals, and though he’ll turn 40 before next season, he could probably eke out another contract if he wants one.

2. The Knicks and Fisher share mutual interest. If Phil Jackson covets Fisher as New York’s next coach – and all indications are he does – Fisher would at least listen.

3. Kobe is hard to coach.

Even if Kobe starts with the best of intentions, he often doesn’t give his coach the benefit of the doubt for long. That wouldn’t bode well for a rookie coach like Fisher – especially because he’s transitioning directly from playing. No matter what Kobe and Fisher think, their relationship would change as Fisher’s job does.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the rest of the Nets veterans made it easy for Jason Kidd. When Kidd repeatedly stumbled early in the season, the Brooklyn players refused to publicly pile on, and that gave Kidd time to get his feet under him. Eventually, he turned to a small-ball lineup, implemented strong schemes with it and won a playoff series.

You think Kobe would show that same patience if Fisher makes mistakes early?

I don’t, but I also didn’t think Garnett and Pierce would, either. Veterans can change their stripes if they desire.

Kobe and Fisher would have a chance to make it work, but I definitely don’t share Fisher’s optimism

  1. norcalkingsfan - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Why so much fuss about coaching Kobe? He is 37, coming off two major injuries, and is not relevant when discussing the future of a new-look Laker team; a nearsighted, rookie move.

    The apples have fallen far from the Buss tree.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      He’s 35.

      • louderthanwords1 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Not relevant for the future? He’s signed for 2 more seasons and will be the highest paid player on the team both yrs. If the Lakers don’t get a coach who can coach Kobe then there’s a good chance that coach is fired before Kobe’s contract is up.

      • duhwighthoward - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        same thing. He’s a relic of the past.

  2. ocgunslinger - Jun 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Fisher has earned so much respect from Kobe from their playing time together. They were both like player coaches. I for one think he would be a fantastic selection for the Lakers. Yes there would be a learning curve but Fisher has shown nothing but leadership excellence over his entire career.

  3. aboogy123456 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    I’m not sold on Fisher as a head coach right now, but there should be no concerns of whether or not he can coach Kobe. If you’ve paid attention to the Lakers, you would know that Kobe has nothing but respect for Fisher, and has said that Fisher even puts him in line sometimes, and he likes that. Fisher is an extremely competitive gym rat and hard worker, so he’s the type of guy that works well with Kobe.

  4. loubearkane - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    WHO WILL COACH THE KNICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. nfl4days - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    “Only Kobe Bryant coaches Kobe Bryant”
    -Kobe Bryant

  6. rrhoe - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    What about the rest of the team…..

  7. SBoy - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    If I have never done something before and I have a good relationship with a guy who has arguably done it better than anyone on the planet and that person wants to personally groom and help me, that would be the way I would go… Fisher might get to work with a decline phase Kobe for 2 seasons versus having a mentor in Phil for years… There would be less pressure on him in NY. Zero expectations next season to get his sea legs… L.A. being his home is obvious draw but otherwise, NY makes much more sense for D. Fish.

    • musician0785 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      If Fish is the coach Kobe will do what he wants…bottom line…I would prefer Byron Scott, someone who would challenge Kobe….THAT’S what he respects.

  8. campcouch - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I think Fisher would prefer to stay closer to or on the West Coast. He says that’s the best area for his daughter’s care. Phil Jackson just got another guy a job in California just by mentioning his name.

  9. marcusfitzhugh - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    West coast? Really? I’m not going to pretend to have any idea what Derek Fisher prefers. I’ll just go by what he’s done. After the Lakers traded him to Houston, he negotiated a buyout and voluntarily signed with OKC, which isn’t on the west coast. The next season he voluntarily signed with Dallas, which isn’t on the west coast. After negotiating a buyout, voluntarily signed with OKC again, which still isn’t on the west coast.

    As for L.A. being better for his daughter, the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City has specialized in his daughter’s form of eye cancer since 1914. In fact, David Abramson is the world’s leading authority on the cancer Fisher’s daughter suffers from and guess where he works – Sloan-Kettering in Manhattan. Lastly, guess who sees Fisher’s daughter regularly? David Abramson. Fisher’s daughter flies out for visits.

    Now what were you saying about the west coast?

  10. program33 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    If you are thinking about coaching the Lakers…wait 2 years…LOL

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