Fisher accepts offer to take Knicks coaching position

Derek Fisher-Phil Jackson-051914-AP-FTR.jpg

The New York Knicks have landed Derek Fisher as coach after conducting a search that included several members of the Phil Jackson tree, Howard Beck of BleacherReport.com reports. 

Fisher, who recently finished a 18-year career as a member of the OKC Thunder, has agreed to take on the Knicks head coaching job. The deal is reported to be worth $25 million over five years.

Fisher won five NBA titles under Jackson as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and he is expected to land several former Jackson disciples for his coaching staff. Rick Fox, Luke Walton and Bill Cartwright are in the mix for assistant positions, Howard Beck reports. Fox and Walton played with Fisher in Los Angeles and Cartwright played for Jackson during the Chicago Bulls' first three-peat. 

Jackson said in the past that he did not require a coach with past experience on the sidelines, and his hiring of Fisher holds true to that stance.

Previously, the Knicks offered the position to Steve Kerr, who played for Jackson in Chicago. Kerr, who also had no coaching experience, passed on the Knicks job and took a position with the Golden State Warriors. 

Fisher will be another in a line of first-time coaches taking on large jobs. There have been several former players to take that route in the past few years, in particular.

The path Fisher will take from the basketball court to the sidelines is not unprecedented, because Jason Kidd made the transition from Knicks point guard to Brooklyn Nets coach this past season. Fisher played in the Western Conference Finals in May and he will be the head coach of the Knicks when the 2014-15 season starts in October. 

STERLING STICKS WITH LAWSUIT

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has pulled his support from a deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and will pursue his $1 billion federal lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney said Monday.

"We have been instructed to prosecute the lawsuit," said attorney Maxwell Blecher. He said Sterling would not be signing off on the deal to sell.

The $2 billion sale was negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, after Donald Sterling's racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as owner.

The lawsuit alleges the league violated his constitutional rights by relying on information from an "illegal" recording that publicized the remarks. It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.

Donald Sterling agreed to ink the deal and drop the suit last week assuming "all their differences had been resolved," his attorneys said. But he decided to not sign the papers after learning the NBA won't revoke its lifetime ban and fine.

Shelly Sterling utilized her authority as sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, to take bids for the team and ultimately negotiate a deal with Ballmer. The deal would be record-breaking if approved by the NBA's owners.

An individual familiar with the negotiations who wasn't authorized to speak publicly said Monday that there were two options for Donald Sterling — to either sign or go to court. But even if he wins in court, he's ultimately going to be paying himself the damages, the individual said, because Shelly Sterling has agreed to indemnify the NBA against all lawsuits, including by her husband.

WADE, THE FLOPPER

The flop is having an impact on the playoffs, and it's being caught much more than it was in the regular season.

Miami guard Dwyane Wade became the latest recipient of a postseason flopping fine Monday when the NBA ordered him to give up $5,000 after a review showed he over-exaggerated a foul during Game 2 of the finals that was charged to San Antonio's Manu Ginobili.

And there's an ironic twist — Ginobili is often considered a master flopper, but he wasn't even warned once about it this season.

"He took a swipe and he hit me," Wade said Monday, before the fine was announced. "It was a late call by the ref, but he called it."

The league saw it a little differently.

It was the fifth flopping violation of the playoffs, which works out to one in every 17.2 games. The NBA said 35 flops were caught in the regular season, or one in every 35.1 games. Players are not fined in the regular season until their second flop of the year; in the playoffs, every flop is a fine.

Wade drew the foul against Ginobili with 4:09 left in the second quarter on Sunday night. Ginobili, who took a big swipe at the ball about 35 feet from the basket, wound up going to the bench with his third foul of the half. Wade went to the line and made the two resulting free throws, since Miami was already in the bonus.

The Heat wound up winning by two points.

"I saw Manu coming out of the corner of my eye to try to steal it so my only thing was to make sure that he didn't steal it," Wade said. "He swiped and he wound up hitting me and the ref called a foul. We move on."

Contributors: DeAntae Prince, The Associated Press

著者
Sporting News editorial team