After failing to convince a former player, Phil Jackson turned to another and this time the Zen worked.
The New York Knicks are set to sign Derek Fisher as the new head coach of the organization with a five-year $25 million dollar deal virtually agreed upon by both sides. This breaking story was first tweeted by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News while the terms of the deal were later revealed by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Sources report that New York has had interest in Fisher for months in large part due to his history with Phil Jackson, the new team president and in particular, his familiarity with the triangle offense. Fisher, 39 was the former starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and is a five-time NBA champion. He was one of the vital bench guys for Oklahoma City this year averaging 17.6 minutes per game and contributing during the playoff run with ended in a loss to the Western Conference champions, San Antonio Spurs in six games.
It can also be recalled that earlier this month, the NBA has fined Jackson for tampering when the latter discussed the possibility of hiring Fisher.
"The last two summers, Derek and I have talked about the next step in his career," Jackson said during the controversial press conference last week. "So I kind of know what he wants to do, and his feelings. He's got family in L.A. He's got little kids still in L.A. I have no idea if he wants to move his family and come here. Those are things that he would have to express. There are so many unknowns."
Apart from the Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers were also mentioned as possible suitors for the lefty shooter but reportedly bowed out of the running to focus on the search for more experienced head coaches. New York is hoping that is can surround Fisher with veteran coaches and ease his transition into mentoring. The same scenario was seen last year with the hiring of Jason Kidd who struggled early in the season but was able to rally the New Jersey Nets to the second round of the eastern conference.
Early in the month, the New York Knicks also considered Steve Kerr, another Jackson prodigy to take the helm and apparently a deal was also in place only for the former Sun president and TNT analyst to choose the Golden State Warriors over the Knicks.
The Knicks scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to make a "major announcement."