Luke Walton interested in joining Derek Fisher’s Knicks coaching staff

While Derek Fisher, left, listens, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson speaks during a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The Knicks hired Fisher as their new coach on Tuesday, with Jackson turning to one of his trustiest former players. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

While Derek Fisher, left, listens, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson speaks during a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The Knicks hired Fisher as their new coach on Tuesday, with Jackson turning to one of his trustiest former players. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The question marks surrounding Derek Fisher’s first day as the New York Knicks’ head coach goes beyond whether his leadership qualities and relationship with president Phil Jackson can overcome the lack of previous head-coaching experience. Or whether Carmelo Anthony will leave through free agency. Or whether the floundering Knicks can become a championship contending franchise.

How will Fisher round out his coaching staff? A few possibilities have already emerged.

The Knicks already have received permission to talk with Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis. Although he said he has talked with Fisher and Jackson since the hire, former Lakers forward Luke Walton told this newspaper in an interview on Tuesday that he is “absolutely” interested in joining Fisher’s staff.

“I do think Derek Fisher is a great hire for that organization,” said Walton, who currently serves as a Time Warner Cable SportsNet Lakers Studio Analyst and a player development coach for the D-Fenders. “As far as being a leader and a hard worker and an absolute winner in everything he does, I think Derek Fisher is the perfect example of all those things. I think he’s going to do a great job.”
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Derek Fisher says Lakers had informal conversations before taking Knicks job

Derek Fisher has won five NBA titles in his 18-year career and is hoping to secure one more before calling it quits. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Derek Fisher has won five NBA titles in his 18-year career and is hoping to secure one more before calling it quits. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson stood side by side, a partnership they shared plenty of times that spanned over five NBA championships.

But the circumstances this time were different. First, the backdrop. Instead of Fisher wearing a Lakers uniform, he stood in front of the New York Knicks logo. Second, the role. Instead of Fisher leading the Lakers as a respected locker room voice, he is now asked to lead the Knicks as their next head coach. Third, the relationship with Jackson. Instead of Fisher playing for Jackson as the Lakers’ head coach, Fisher will coach for Jackson as the Knicks’ president.

Yet, with the Lakers having a head-coaching vacancy, did Fisher ever have interest in patrolling the sidelines in front of their bench? Did the Lakers even want that?

“It was a very casual, kind of informal reach out from the Lakers,” Fisher said Tuesday at the Knicks’ introductory press conference in New York. “I don’t know if they really considered me as their head coaching, or one of their head coaching candidates. They informally reached out to me. We didn’t have a formal interview or formal sitdown. What I expressed to them was if they wanted to have a formal sitdown, we could do that, but my relationship with Phil and the conversations we had thus far, unless they’re serious about sitting down and talking, there’s not much to talk about. That was over pretty quickly.”

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Lakers coaching search: Lakers will not pursue Derek Fisher

The Lakers have ruled out pursuing Derek Fisher as a potential head-coaching candidate:  mark humphrey – the associated press

The Lakers have ruled out pursuing Derek Fisher as a potential head-coaching candidate: mark humphrey – the associated press

The Lakers have narrowed down their slow, exhaustive coaching search only to candidates that have previous head-coaching experience, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

Where that ends up remains to be seen. It is a “50-50 chance,” as one league source put it, that the Lakers will hire a coach before the NBA Draft on June 26. But it appears safe to rule out one prominent candidate to coach the Lakers: Derek Fisher.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the development surrounding the Lakers’ stance on Fisher’s potential candidacy.
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Phil Jackson fined $25,000 for touting Derek Fisher as Knicks coaching candidate

Derek Fisher has won five NBA titles in his 18-year career and is hoping to secure one more before calling it quits. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Derek Fisher has won five NBA titles in his 18-year career and is hoping to secure one more before calling it quits. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Usually, Phil Jackson drew an NBA-imposed fine for criticizing the referees, a relatively small downpayment Jackson deposited to help rattle an opposing teams’s superstar during a key playoff series.

But these circumstances were different.

As the New York Knicks president, Jackson drew a $25,000 fine for touting Derek Fisher as a coaching candidate while he still played for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Per NBA rules, team officials cannot talk about acquiring other players under contract with another team and is considered tampering.

“He’s definitely a person on my list, who could be a very good candidate for this job,” Jackson recently said about Fisher to reporters in New York while he still played with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Knicks and Lakers are expected to interview Fisher at some point. But they would have to seek and receive permission from the Thunder to do so since Fisher will stay under contract with the team until June 30. Fisher has said he plans to retire, though he left the possibility open to play in what would mark his 19th season.


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Lakers coaching search: Derek Fisher to ponder his next step

After providing the voice of calm and reason spanning 18 years, five NBA championships and countless clutch shots and speeches, Derek Fisher said he is not ready to jump into the coaching ranks just yet.

But the reasons have nothing to do with his lack of head-coaching experience or believing he is not fit for a job. With the Oklahoma City Thunder losing in six games to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, Fisher said he still wanted some time before figuring out what his next step will entail.

“I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to my wife and step back emotionally from the end of the season. That’s important to do so that whatever is next, there has to be a separation from the end of the season and what just happened and then go from there,” Fisher said in his exit interview with reporters, as captured on video by the Oklahoman. “There’s a proper way to do it, which definitely starts with accepting what happened last night and having some discussions privately as a family and having discussions with the appropriate people depending on what that decision is.”

Some of those appropriate people could include the Lakers, which has spent the past two weeks interviewing a flurry of candidates to fill their vacant head-coaching position. The candidates have proved wide-ranging, including those familiar with the Lakers (Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, Mike Dunleavy) and ones with vast head-coaching experience (Lionel Hollins, Alvin Gentry).

Though Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said after the NBA draft lottery that he leaned toward hiring a coach with previous experience, he did not rule out potential wild cards. One of those candidates could become Fisher. He has built plenty of equity with the Lakers given his five NBA titles here, his relationship with Kobe Bryant and his leadership experience both as a commanding locker room presence and the previous president of the NBA Players Association.
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