What is on Derek Fisher’s mind these days?
Tony Parker. Patty Mills. Manu Ginobili. The San Antonio Spurs.
Not Phil Jackson, not the New York Knicks, and not what he’s going to do next year. While rumors of Phil Jackson targeting him to coach in Manhattan swirl, Fisher is focused on the Western Conference Finals, which begin Monday night in San Antonio.
Here is what Fisher told Sam Amick of the USA Today when asked about his thoughts on coaching the Knicks (which echoes what he’s said every time he’s been asked).
“I literally have not given any thought,” Fisher told USA TODAY Sports when asked specifically whether he wants to be a coach. “I’ve kept all my options open for years for that reason. I’ve been asked for more than a decade what I’m doing next.
“(But) I think you have to want to do anything you decide to do that requires the type of time and effort that coaching requires. You go through your process at the appropriate time, and then you decide from there.”
Will Fisher and Jackson talk this off-season? Sure.
“We talk every offseason. I’m sure we’ll talk again when the season is over, but I don’t have any intentions on reaching out to him and I think he respects the space that I’m in as well… It’s just tough to wrap my mind around anything other than playing basketball. I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and to think about (how) every week or two there’s a chance it could be my last week. That part in itself is tough enough.”
I still think you will likely see Fisher as a coach next season, if that’s what he wants to do. The Lakers and others may have interest, Fisher is clearly a leader who would command respect in the locker room. I can see why a guy like Phil Jackson trying to change the culture of a franchise would want Fisher by his side.
First, Fisher had to decide what he wants to do.
And before that, he has to focus on Patty Mills.