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Phil Jackson fined $25,000 for talking about Fisher as coach, but Fisher still leading candidate

Jun 2, 2014, 5:19 PM EDT

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If you had under three months in the “when will the NBA fine Phil Jackson?” pool, go collect your money.

The NBA has confirmed that the league fined Phil Jackson $25,000 for his comments about Derek Fisher as a potential coaching candidate of the Knicks. This was tampering, even though Jackson said he has not reached out to or spoken to Fisher, you can’t even talk about a guy under contract to another team and Derek Fisher was still that with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That doesn’t mean that Jackson’s fascination with Fisher is in anyway over.

In fact, Fisher sounded like a guy ready to move on to the next phase in his life at his exit interview and the Knicks are still in front of the crowd in landing him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

As the Los Angeles Lakers remain cool on the pursuit of Derek Fisher as a coaching candidate, the New York Knicks continue to cement themselves as the strong frontrunner to hire him, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

Knicks president Phil Jackson has been eager to sell Fisher, 39, on the possibility of Jackson mentoring him as part of a direct move from Fisher’s playing career into the Knicks head coaching job. Fisher is taking a few days to finalize his thoughts on the likely end of his 18-year playing career before fully engaging in talks to become a head coach.

The Lakers have focused on veteran coaches — Byron Scott, Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins, even Kurt Rambis (that one is not going to happen). As much as the Buss family may love Fisher they are not looking for a coach on a learning curve. That said, they want to have a conversation with Fisher, reports ESPN. That said, they also want to have a conversation with Larry Brown. Seriously. They are talking to everyone.

Jackson is more focused and looking for someone he can trust to help change the culture in New York — Derek fisher is the kind of “leader of men” who can do that. Fisher will bring integrity and a belief in system — and players buying into that system — that the Knicks really need. He fits what Jackson wants.

The ball will be in Fisher’s court, Jackson got a reminder not to reach to players under contract.

  1. jimeejohnson - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Zen master should have kept his mouth shut. Now he’s gonna have to bring pb&j to work instead of a little take out from Zen Palate or another fine vegetarian restaurant in NYC. That’s right: the Zen master’s eats vegetarian (not sure he does that exclusively). Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Should read “the Zen master eats…” Would you believe I teach English? What do you mean, “nope”?

      • trickybastard - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        Why? We pay 4 times that in recruiting fees at my company. Smart move.

  2. jollyjoker2 - Jun 2, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    some how fisher to the lakers? your kidding me. .the guy hasn’t coached a game. The NBA is desperate for coaches.

  3. beach305 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    I give this three years and then Phil, will have another medical emergency.

  4. ocgunslinger - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Fisher will undoubtedly become one of the great coaches in time. He is a true leader and highly respected as such by all his teams, past and present. I would hope he would take the Lakers job if extended to him. Probably won’t happen and he will end up with the Knicks which will be the Lakers loss long term.

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