OKC Thunder: Derek Fisher still mulling retirement, coaching

The way he spoke, the emotion in his voice, the sentimental goodbye feeling of his words, painted him as a 39-year-old at the beginning stages of a realization of what’s to come – a lengthy and historic playing career that’s likely over.
Oklahoman Published: June 1, 2014

Hours after his 18th NBA season had come to a sudden end, Derek Fisher wasn’t quite ready to label it his last.

“I’m still struggling with the results of last night,” Fisher said at his exit interview on Sunday afternoon.

But the way he spoke, the emotion in his voice, the sentimental goodbye feeling of his words, painted him as a 39-year-old at the beginning stages of a realization of what’s to come – a lengthy and historic playing career that’s likely over.

“If this was it,” Fisher said, “I’m beyond thankful that it was here and it was with these group of guys and this people and this community.”

If he wants it, Fisher is all but assured a spot on the Thunder’s roster next season – as a bench player and unofficial coach.

But two rare opportunities potentially await him on the outside. And they are of the “limited time only” variety.

Both the Knicks – an organization run by Phil Jackson, his long-time coach – and Lakers – his former team, led by Kobe Bryant, one of his best friends – have head coaching vacancies. Both have waited for a chance to talk to Fisher before filling them.

But neither has much longer to wait.

“Always envisioned finishing up as a player, at whatever point, then take a step back,” Fisher said. “You go on a sabbatical for a year or two. You go home and be the best at-home dad you can be for awhile, then you make some decisions about what you want to do next.

“(But) that’s not the way the world works these days, in business, in sports, in life. So much of life is timing and opportunity and being able to take advantage of the right opportunities and the right situations at the right time.”


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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