The Derek Fisher era with the Los Angeles Lakers appears to be over before it ever took flight.
Fisher, who spent a total of 13 seasons and won five NBA titles with the Lakers, is likely no longer a candidate for the position of head coach with his former team. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported the news over the weekend:
The Lakers have decided they need a coach with previous NBA coaching experience, which means one thing for Derek Fisher: He isn't a candidate.
The Lakers think Fisher will be a solid NBA coach or executive at some point, but their initial curiosity about him has been replaced by a desire for actual experience, the latest turn in a deliberately slow coaching search approaching the six-week mark.
While it may have seemed ridiculous just a few years ago for Fisher to move from player directly into the role of head coach, it's slightly more common now. In fact, it was just last year that Jason Kidd, a future Hall of Fame point guard, made the same move to the Brooklyn Nets' sideline.
As for Fisher, it doesn't appear he'll exactly fall on hard times. He still has a chance to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder for another season or might even roam the New York Knicks' sideline just miles away from Kidd, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News notes:
Fisher is expected to talk with Phil Jackson this week about possibly becoming the next head coach of the Knicks. 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?
Apart from the reported Fisher dismissal, not many rumors have been swirling around the monotonous coaching search.
Sure, we know that the Lakers have interviewed Byron Scott for the position along with Kurt Rambis, who was a part of Mike D'Antoni's staff last season. Things went so swimmingly for Scott that he told Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times: "To say the least, I thought it was a perfect fit."
Along with Scott, another potential candidate from the Los Angeles area is Alvin Gentry from the Clippers. Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times notes the two sides planned an interview, and Gentry spoke over the phone with general manager Mitch Kupchak.
Clearly, the Lakers don't believe they have a perfect candidate, as it's still all quiet on the western front. But now there appears to be a coaching possibility that would fit the exact mold Bresnahan laid out.
Can confirm @ramonashelburne nugget that George Karl talked with Mitch Kupchak— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 3, 2014
George Karl hasn't had an interview w/ Lakers yet. Just had an informal phone conversation w/ Mitch Kupchak— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 3, 2014
Who should be the Lakers' next head coach?
Along with the possibility of Karl being a candidate for the position, he has also expressed interest in returning to the NBA. The 63-year-old told Matthew J. Buettner of CBSDenver.com that he wants "one more shot" at coaching a team.
With an entire offseason ahead and the 2014 NBA draft coming at the end of the month, the Lakers will likely want a new coach in place to help with crucial decisions. After whittling the process down to a few candidates at this point, a move might be coming soon from the Lakers.
Following a coaching search that has seen several notable names rise and fall, expect more of the same from the Lakers. Whether it's Karl, Rambis or even Scott, the Lakers need to make a decision before major decisions have to be made about the future.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter: