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Oklahoma City Thunder: What's next for Derek Fisher?

The day after the Thunder was eliminated, Derek Fisher sounded like he was coming to grips with the end of his career. Three days later, Fisher reportedly had entered into preliminary discussions with Knicks president Phil Jackson about the team’s vacant coaching job.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 7, 2014

Coaching offers Fisher that opportunity.

“I somehow have been gifted and blessed to positively impact other people,” Fisher said. “I didn’t know what that would look like and how that vision would kind of come to life. But coaching allows for you to positively impact other people’s lives. To help a group of people find success. Whether they’ve ever had it before, you’re all working together for a common goal.

“That’s what I’ve loved doing for 33 years as a player — first played my first organized game of basketball at the age of six — so there’s a love of helping other people that exists for me. And not playing anymore, if that’s what it’s to be, coaching or being in the front office or being in a role where you can positively impact others and work to reaching a common goal is exciting to me.”

If he’s offered and accepts the Knicks job, Fisher would become the second coach in as many seasons to go straight from playing to a head coaching job, following in the footsteps of Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd. Many questioned whether Kidd was prepared for the moment. Far less doubt exists with Fisher.

“He’s been a point guard, a guard for a lot of years,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He’s seen a lot of basketball. I know he hasn’t coached, but he’s coached on the floor. He has a lot of qualities that will give you a chance to be successful, and the main one is he’s willing to work every day. There’s no days off. You have to earn everything you get, and you can’t ask for anything in this business. He has that mentality as a player, so I’m sure he’s going to continue to do that if he chooses to become a coach. He will be successful whatever he decides to do.”