Derek Fisher’s tenure as a coach in the NBA was brief. The former New York Knicks head man was fired last February after less than two full seasons on the job. Rather than making his return to the league while walking the sidelines in a suit, though, it seems Fisher, who retired following the 2013-14 season, would rather continue his basketball career riding the bench in a uniform.
The 41-year-old posted a video to Instagram on Tuesday night that showed him honing his basketball skills. That alone wouldn’t be enough to create speculation of a shocking comeback. What does is an accompanying hashtag that effectively reads “I’m not done yet.”
Shortly thereafter, ESPN New York’s Ian Begley learned that Fisher is indeed training with the goal of resuming his playing career.
Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that Fisher has indeed been “exploring options and expressing interest in playing again.”
It is unclear what those options are, but a source said Fisher’s looking into opportunities to play in the NBA or in the Chinese professional league.
A five-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, Fisher made little impact on the court over his final few years as player.
Coach Scott Brooks was often lambasted for playing the aging lefty over more dynamic young players during the latter’s three-season run with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and rightfully so. Fisher lost his famed shooting stroke in the twilight of his playing days and didn’t compensate for that deficiency with anything but intangible attributes.
Perhaps more damning than his performance was that Fisher requested a release from the Dallas Mavericks – with whom he’d recently signed as a free agent – in December 2013 to spend more time with his children. Two months later, he resurfaced with the Thunder, the team he’d joined the season prior after being traded from the Lakers to the Houston Rockets.
Most recently, Fisher has been in the news for his love triangle feud with Sacramento Kings wing Matt Barnes. The only thing more ridiculous than that story, frankly, is this one. The only role Fisher should occupy in the NBA today is on a team’s coaching staff or in its front office.
Either way, we wish him luck in his comeback.