New York •Derek Fisher has agreed to become the next coach of the New York Knicks and will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday morning, a person familiar with the situation said.
The Knicks did not confirm the hiring, other than saying they were planning a "major announcement."
The 39-year-old Fisher just completed his 18th season, finishing his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played under Knicks President Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, and helped that franchise win five NBA titles.
Fisher would have been an unrestricted free agent this summer, though it was widely known that this season would be his last as a player. And once the Knicks failed to close a deal with Steve Kerr — who wound up accepting an offer from Golden State — Fisher was believed to be the next target on Jackson’s list.
Jackson was fined $25,000 for the league last week for a tampering violation involving Fisher. He was still under contract with the Thunder when Jackson told New York reporters that Fisher was "on my list of guys that could be very good candidates" to replace Mike Woodson on the Knicks’ sideline.
Fisher surely could still play. He has just suspected for a while that his time has come to do something else.
"Coaching allows for you to positively impact other people’s lives," Fisher told reporters during his exit interview after Oklahoma City’s season ended. "To help a group of people find success, whether they have or haven’t before, you’re all working together for a common goal."
Fisher’s hiring means that next season, both teams in New York will have former point guards barely removed from playing days at the helms.
It worked for the Brooklyn Nets, who made the Eastern Conference semifinals this season with first-year coach Jason Kidd, and now the Knicks will hope that Fisher can have the same success.
His hiring is the first significant step in what’s expected to be a broad makeover of the team by Jackson, who was hired late in the regular season to turn around the fortunes of a franchise that has won just one playoff series in the past 14 years.
Over that 14-year span, the Knicks have won a mere 10 playoff games. Fisher played in 134 playoff wins during that stretch.
Alvin Gentry gets second interview with Cavaliers
Cleveland • A person familiar with the Cavaliers’ coaching search says Los Angeles Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry will have a second interview for the vacancy.
Gentry is the first known candidate to meet for a second time with the Cavs, who fired Mike Brown — for the second time — on May 12.
Also Monday, a person familiar with the interview says former Cavaliers star guard Mark Price will meet with club officials about the coaching vacancy Tuesday.
A smooth-shooting point guard, Price was a four-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Cavaliers. His No. 25 jersey was retired by the team in 1999.
Price spent last season as an assistant coach with Charlotte. He’s the sixth known candidate to meet with Cleveland.
The Cavs hope to have a coach in place before the June 26 NBA draft. Cleveland has the No. 1 overall pick.
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