The Knicks coaching search officially ended today, as they came to terms with 39-year-old Derek Fisher according to several reports. The former Lakers guard, who just wrapped up his 18-season NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder less than two weeks ago, will apparently sign a five-year deal worth $25 million. He’ll become the NBA’s second-youngest coach (behind Orlando’s Jacque Vaughn) as well as one of its highest paid.
Fisher was not Phil Jackson’s first choice, but when Steve Kerr was released from his verbal agreement with the Knicks to take the Warriors job, he became the odds-on favorite (the $25,000 tampering fine was a sure sign). It’s expected that Fisher will direct an offense similar to the one he ran as the point guard in Los Angeles. The five-year deal seems a bit ambitious, seeing that only one Knicks coach (Jeff Van Gundy) in the last 30 years has lasted that long, but that’s Jim Dolan’s problem. And this piece just gets more hilarious with time.
It’s too early to speculate about who will serve on Fisher’s staff—actually, no it isn’t. Former Laker teammate Luke Walton’s name has been mentioned, along with former Lakers coach Kurt Rambis and former Laker Rick Fox (whose name was first floated in connection with the Knicks job by former Laker Rick Fox). Kobe Bryant was unavailable for comment.