Count Kevin Durant among the people who believe Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher will be a good coach when his career ends. Durant praised Fisher yesterday, saying Fisher “without a doubt” will find success when he moves to the bench.
Via New York Post:
Knicks coaching candidate Derek Fisher may not only turn out to be a better leader as a head coach one day than Steve Kerr but perhaps a better recruiter. And one guy Fisher may not have a problem recruiting is his current Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant.
Durant will be a free agent in 2016. Knicks president Phil Jackson already has braced for the possibility of striking out in the 2015 free-agent bonanza, especially if Kevin Love and LeBron James are off the market. Their Plan D is Durant, who thinks the world of Fisher as a potential head coach and hails from Maryland, where Carmelo Anthony was also raised after moving to Baltimore at age 9.
When asked Tuesday by The Post if he felt Fisher had the attributes to be a solid coach, Durant said, “Without a doubt. He’s a smart guy, smart mind. 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.’’
Fisher did a great job on the court in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, coming off the bench to pour in 16 points in 24 minutes with two steals, making 4-of-6 3-pointers. An Oklahoma City source said Fisher is in better shape this season than last and certainly having a more productive season in shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range.
“He looks good to me,’’ Durant said. “He’s taking care of himself and playing well.’’
Fisher said during training camp this would be his final season. It could all end conceivably Sunday night as the Thunder trail 1-0 and don’t have key big man Serge Ibaka. That’s when Jackson, who teamed with Fisher to five titles with the Lakers, can pounce.
Asked if there’s any wavering regarding retirement, Fisher said, “That’s how I felt in training camp. I didn’t sign a contract [to retire] and etch it in stone. But that’s how I feel. That’s still how I feel. My mind hasn’t really changed.’’