Los Angeles Lakers rumors this week indicated that the team was making a serious run at Derek Fisher for their head coaching vacancy, but the team suddenly changed course and decided against bringing Fisher back to the franchise.
Now, it’s been revealed that the Lakers didn’t have much of a choice.
Though it was initially reported that the Lakers decided against going with Fisher to replace fired coach Mike D’Antoni, new reports say that it was Fisher who turned down his former team.
Marcus Bass, Lakers beat writer for Fansided, noted:
And the story goes on – this time veteran guard Derek Fisher is the latest victim of the Lakers once-again trying to save face. After Knicks President (and former Lakers coach) Phil Jackson expressed interest in the soon to be 40-year-old guard gracing the sidelines of Madison Square Garden, the Lakers immediately tossed their hat in the ring.
Barely a week later, it’s been “reported” that the Lakers have dropped Fisher from their coaching search. Suspicious to say the least. It’s always best to be the one who delivers the rejection, and if things didn’t really work out that way – the next best scenario is to make it look like they did. While Derek Fisher isn’t proven on the sidelines and it’s impossible to gauge his talent for coaching, one thing is for sure; the Lakers pitched Fisher, and he rejected them – plain and simple.
Fisher will turn 40 in August, but still managed to put together a productive NBA season, averaging 5.2 points per game as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He officially has not made a decision whether to retire or keep playing, but with both the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks courting him as a coach, most believe he will be making his NBA coaching debut.
The Los Angeles Lakers rumors have now turned to a new group of candidate. The team has interviewed Mike Dunleavy, Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins, Kurt Rambis and Byron Scott.
If the Lakers want one from that group they may have to move quickly. There are some other high-profile coaching vacancies, and Gentry has already scheduled to meet with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday for a second interview.
Other rumors indicate that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking only at coaches with NBA experience, ruling out anyone from the college ranks. Many insiders see this as a bid to create a “win now” team around Kobe Bryant, who likely has only a couple of years left to try to win another NBA championship.