Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher during practice before the 2009 NBA Finals.
Sunday night sources told ESPN that Jackson isn't going to talk to anyone else about the head coaching position until he has a tete-a-tete with Derek Fisher.
Of course Fisher can't take a coaching job until he decides to stop playing, and he has said he won't discuss his plans for next season until he's finished playing this season. He suits up with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs, Monday night 9 p.m. ET.
Although there is all manner of rumor and speculation about why Steve Kerr turned down the Knicks job and how hurt the Zen Master's feelings are, if the Knicks could land Fisher he might be a better fit than Kerr would have been.
Fisher was with Jackson for all five Lakers' championship seasons, playing the point and leading the triangle offense—but he has had success with other great teams, coaches and offenses as well, so he could bring a broader perspective.
Further, Fisher may have an easy time communicating with and earning the trust of the Knicks players, because he knows the players and the game of today. He is the very definition of a "wily veteran" on the court, who has helped soothe the nerves of many rattled players throughout his 15 trips to the playoffs.
The frayed nerves and lack of focus that the Knicks displayed this season showed that they sorely missed the influence of a veteran point guard. Jason Kidd performed that role for the Knicks as a player in the 2012-13 season.
Kidd crossed the river, became head coach for the Nets, had the respect of both young and old players and led his team into the second round of the playoffs. There is every reason to expect the same of Fisher.
Plus—and this is vitally important—Fisher is one of the few players to wear a Lakers jersey during the Jackson era who doesn't reek of L.A. so badly that he sickens fans of every team that got trounced by them.
For a team with a point guard problem and a state of emotional crisis, Fisher is a great fit, and his experience with Jackson and the Triangle Offense makes him the best candidate of all...if he stops playing.