New York Knicks

Kevin Durant, Bill Clinton Tweet Congratulations to Knicks Coach Derek Fisher

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 11: Derek Fisher #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shares a word with teammate Kevin Durant #35 in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2013 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Jim CavanContributor IJune 10, 2014

Unless you pride yourself on hating the Los Angeles Lakers or have ever been the victim of one of his Jedi flops, Derek Fisher—the freshly minted coach of the New York Knicks—seems to enjoy near-universal love and respect.

A couple particularly important people included:

Former President Bill Clinton, like Fisher, hails from Arkansas. And you can bet the two will be trading back-slaps at some Manhattan steakhouse in the not-too-distant future.

This congrats, however, is the one that's bound to pique the interest of NBA fans:

This isn’t the first time Kevin Durant has taken up arms for his teammate of two years. Indeed, the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar was on the Fisher-to-New-York train long before it was fashionable.

Here’s KD from a May 21 interview with the New York Post’s Marc Berman:

“Without a doubt. He’s a smart guy, smart mind,” Durant said of Fisher’s coaching readiness. “He’s a great motivator, great speaker and can really relate to a lot of guys and demands that respect from everybody. He’s a great locker-room guy. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.’’

Let the fanciful speculation begin!

We’re talking, of course, about 2016, when Durant is slated to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

Barring another Knicks coaching debacle, Fisher—who agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal—will likely still be patrolling the Madison Square Garden sidelines when KD officially hits the open market.

Could the two’s noted rapport be enough, or at least an impetus, to lure Durant to Manhattan?

One thing’s for certain: New York’s cross-bridge rivals, the Brooklyn Nets, will be in hot pursuit of the NBA MVP when the time comes, according to the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy (h/t Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin):

The impending Durant free agency bonanza should start picking up steam next season and will undoubtedly engulf the NBA in the summer of 2016. And make no mistake: the Nets are targeting Durant, the 25-year-old offensive juggernaut, even if it’s too early to predict their odds.

The Nets could be committed to no salary when Durant becomes a free agent, depending on whether Deron Williams picks up his one-year option for the 2016-17 season. Everybody else is off the books.

You can bet your bottom dollar—or, in KD’s case, your $100-or-so million—that the Knicks will be right there with the Nets come the summer of 2016, as cleared as they’ll likely be of their current cap-clogging contracts.

That’s not to say Fisher’s presence alone will be enough to woo Durant. Indeed, we’re pretty sure he’ll want to see, you know, consistent winning from whatever team he decides to join.

Apr 19, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher (6) slaps hands with forward Kevin Durant (35) after a play in action against the Memphis Grizzlies in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake En
USA TODAY Sports

Then again, what if Durant and the Thunder have a championship or two under their belts at that point? Would he really leave with a three-peat so close and his status as the face of the OKC brand so secure?

A lot can happen in two short years, of course, which is why it’s probably not worth reading into KD’s tweet as anything more than a simple, cordial congratulations.

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