So long Fisher...
Veteran guard to leave Thunder and coach Knicks
(SportsNetwork.com) - It appears that Phil Jackson finally got his man.
According to multiple reports, Derek Fisher has verbally agreed to become the next head coach of the New York Knicks, with an official announcement of the hiring set to take place at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday.
Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that Fisher, who just completed his 18th NBA season as a player, and the Knicks are in the process of finalizing a five- year contract worth $25 million.
Fisher's candidacy for the position which Jackson, in one of his first decisions as New York's new team president, opened up by firing Mike Woodson shortly after the conclusion of the 2013-14 regular season, has been known for some time. Jackson publicly expressed interest in his former player -- then still competing in the NBA Playoffs with the Oklahoma City Thunder -- last week and drew a $25,000 tampering fine by the league for the comments.
The 39-year-old Fisher played 10 seasons under Jackson when the latter was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2011 and was a part of five NBA championship teams during that time period.
Fisher will be the second player to immediately step into a head coach's role immediately following the conclusion of his athletic career in as many years, with the crosstown-rival Brooklyn Nets tabbing Jason Kidd as their sideline boss last June.
The steady point guard still wasn't Jackson's first choice to be Woodson's successor, as Steve Kerr spurned an offer from the Knicks in favor of the open Golden State job last month. Kerr also played under Jackson during the Chicago Bulls' championship runs in the mid-to-late 1990's.
Fisher takes over a Knicks team that reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2012-13 but compiled a disappointing 37-45 record this past season, triggering Woodson's dismissal.