Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher has been at the center of speculation surrounding the New York Knicks coaching vacancy. Fisher has said multiple times this season that this will be his last year playing. Fisher won five championships under newly-named Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson and is believed to be a frontrunner for the position.
Fisher shared his thoughts on the Knicks job at Monday’s shootaround before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs.
What are your thoughts on the Knicks job?
Obviously, it's humbling. It's flattering. But Phil knows better than anybody at this time of year that singular focus that you have to have, and that's what I'm trying to do for myself and for this team. My future, regardless of what it is, I'm not concerned about it until after these playoffs are done.
You're friends with Phil. You wrote on your blog you're still very close. Has he been talking to you through the playoffs a little bit just seeing how things are going?
No. We touched base right before his official press conference when he accepted the job. And since then, we haven't spoken. Obviously, he's busy in terms of trying to make the changes he needs to make there. But I have a day job as well, and I think he respects that more than anybody. He taught me a lot about how to operate during this time of year. We talk every offseason. I'm sure we'll talk again when the season's over. But I don't have any intentions on reaching out to him. And I think he respects the space that I'm in right now as well.
Are you surprised Steve Kerr didn't join Phil?
I'm not sure. I don't know Steve personally that well to know of the understanding that went into his decision-making process. But I think there were great opportunities either way. He obviously had a great deal of interest. Hopefully he and his family and the team will be happy with the decision. And life goes on.
Have you 100 percent decided that you're not going to come back as a player next year?
I'm still kind of sticking with that for now. It's the same concept of just, I put it out there at the beginning and that's what I'm sticking with. Until we finish up with what we're trying to do right now, I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about what's next. It's not fair to me, and it's not fair to these guys to even think about it or talk about it. We got to figure out how to beat the Spurs four times right now.
Is it tough to wrap your mind around the Knicks head coaching job right now after this grueling season?
No. Right now it's tough to wrap my mind around anything other than playing basketball. I've been doing this for a very long time. Every week or two there's a chance it could be my last week. So that part in itself is tough enough. And, like I said, until I'm done helping my team this year I'm not spending a lot of time on other things right now.