The first time Derek Fisher arrived in New York, in 1996, a wide-eyed rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers, he did not enjoy any of the city’s restaurants, visit Central Park, take in any theater or hop to any clubs.

In fact, he found the hustle and bustle of street life disconcerting.

“I’m from Little Rock,” Fisher said, smiling. “I locked myself in my hotel room because I was afraid what was going to happen to me.”

Fisher was speaking Sunday about those long-ago days of wonderment as he began to ponder where the next chapter in his life would take him.

Would it be back to New York, perhaps as coach of the Knicks, or home with his wife and four children in Los Angeles, perhaps as coach or an executive with the Lakers? Or maybe he will continue playing if there is a place on a championship-ready team that might have room for a 40-year-old guard with a winner’s pedigree.
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage

The Spurs’ Tim Duncan shooting over Kevin Durant. Duncan’s jumper late in overtime gave the Spurs a needed cushion.
Spurs 112, Thunder 107: Duncan Gives Spurs Another Shot at the HeatJUNE 1, 2014

After the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season ended Saturday night with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals, Fisher could have two tantalizing opportunities working with the people who have developed the most influential relationships of his career: Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant.

“It’s surreal to think about,” Fisher said, adding: “I’d always envisioned finishing up as a player at whatever point and then you take a step back and go on a sabbatical for a year or two, and you go home and become the best at-home dad you can be for a while, then you make some decisions about what you want to do next. But that’s not the way the world works.”

It is less clear what his options would be with the Lakers, who are expected to speak with as many as 10 coaching candidates and may also have an opening in the front office. Jackson, in his role as Knicks president, has made it clear that Fisher was on his list of possible coaches.

“I kind of know what he wants to do and his feelings,” Jackson, who has spoken with Fisher about his future the last two summers, told reporters Friday. He said that he was unsure whether Fisher would be interested in uprooting his family but that he valued their shared experiences.

“I’d like to have a prior relationship with a coach, so that we know that we’ve gone through some kind of issues together,” Jackson said. “We’ve dealt with some kind of battle situations. We’ve had conflicts, we’ve had disagreements, and we know how to work things out.”