Fourteen months ago – on April 7, 2013 – Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd were guarding each other during a late season NBA game in Oklahoma City.
Now, it seems, the two are about to become rival head coaches in the league’s biggest market.
Following his retirement last summer, Kidd was surprisingly announced as the coach of the Brooklyn Nets – an immediate ascension that is rare in sports these days.
But one offseason later, Fisher is following in those unique footsteps, with multiple outlets reporting that the veteran guard has agreed in principle to become the head coach of the New York Knicks. Yahoo! Sports is reporting the deal is worth five years and $25 million. The Knicks are expected to announce Fisher's hire in a press conference Tuesday.
Fisher made $1.4 million on the Thunder last season. Scott Brooks agreed to a four-year, $16 million contract extension two offseasons ago.
Even while he was playing out his final season for the past few months in Oklahoma City, Fisher was long considered the frontrunner for the Knicks job, popping up once Steve Kerr took the position in Golden State. Phil Jackson was even fined $25,000 by the NBA for tampering, levied after the Knicks’ team president mentioned Fisher among those he was looking at for the position.
But once Fisher’s season ended, talks were able to open up. And, apparently, things moved rather quickly. The Thunder’s season and Fisher’s playing career ended 10 days ago. Jackson reportedly had conversations with him earlier this week and an agreement was quickly reached on Monday afternoon.
No longer one of the league’s oldest active players, Fisher will now become the NBA’s third-youngest coach. Boston's Brad Stevens (37) is the youngest, and Orlando’s Jacque Vaughn was born five months after Fisher.