Here's to the end of the New York Knicks' search for a new head coach.
UPDATE: Monday, June 9, at 5 p.m. ET by Dan Favale
Yes, it's true. The Knicks' coaching search is actually over, per Bleacher Report's Howard Beck:
Derek Fisher has decided to accept the Knicks' head coaching position, per source.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 9, 2014
A deal between Fisher and the Knicks is not yet final, but it's expected soon.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 9, 2014
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski provided additional details:
Derek Fisher is finalizing an agreement on a 5-year, $25 million deal to become the Knicks coach, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 9, 2014
Fisher's arrival is huge for the Knicks, if only because they finally have a coach to call their own.
Things have been touch and go since Steve Kerr chose the Warriors over Phil Jackson's Knicks. They were always going to hire a coach, but failing to land Kerr left a blemish on the Zen Master's early record.
Now that Jackson has finally enacted Plan B, he and the Knicks can shift their attention to more pressing issues, like Carmelo Antony's looming free agency and the state of their roster in general.
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
The New York Knicks' pursuit of Derek Fisher to be their new coach will ramp up this week and is widely expected to result in the hiring of the 18-year veteran guard, according to NBA coaching sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that new Knicks president Phil Jackson has been fully focused on Fisher since Steve Kerr unexpectedly decided to take the Golden State Warriors' job, when Jackson and essentially the whole league believed Kerr was bound for New York.
Similar expectations existed in New York not long ago. Hiring Kerr was considered a formality. It wasn't a done deal, but it was a done deal.
Then he opted to coach the Golden State Warriors.
Past scorn, as Stein notes, has prompted the Knicks to keep their options open. It never hurts to have a Plan B, after all.
Or, in this case, a Plan C.
Among Phil Jackson's contingency plans for his present contingency plan may be Rick Fox, who won three NBA titles under the Zen Master with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Yeah…I’ve been a candidate for while and what I’m comfortable communicating is that there’s really nothing for me to do. Phil has expressed his interest, and the patience for him discovering who is right for that job is left in his court. I know that Phil is as competent a coach as there ever was so that if you’re a Knicks fan, to know that he’s going to find the right person to work with in that capacity has to be comforting to those people and you just let it play out.
Before legitimately considering anyone else, though, Jackson appears dead set on seeing his Fisher pursuit through.
The five-time NBA champion and Jackson disciple has been heavily linked to New York's vacancy for a while. Jackson spoke openly about his interest in Fisher before he was even done playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Such candor, while refreshing for New York fans, cost the Zen Master a few shekels.
ESPN has learned that Knicks president Phil Jackson has been fined $25,000 for tampering with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 2, 2014
That's just the cost of doing business—assuming Fisher accepts the Knicks' offer.
As the New York Daily News' Frank Isola notes, Fisher has a few things he needs to figure out first:
Fisher, who hasn’t ruled out returning to Oklahoma City for one more season, has several important decisions to make: Does he still want to play? Does he want to coach? Does he want to move his family from Los Angeles to New York?
Those are all factors that could prevent Fisher from becoming Jackson’s first significant move as Knicks president.
If D-Fish, like Kerr before him, spurns the Knicks, Jackson and friends must resign to looking elsewhere. Again.
Where will they look?
Will Derek Fisher be coaching the Knicks next season?
Maybe Fox's way. Or in the direction of Kurt Rambis. Or in the vicinity of Jim Cleamons. There's really no way of knowing at this point.
"Coaching allows for you to positively impact other people's lives," Fisher said, per The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry.
The Knicks can only hope Fisher is ready to have that impact, so they're not forced to scour the masses for Plans C through Z.