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Fisher confirms interest in coaching

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Oklahoma City Thunder veteran guard Derek Fisher, a rumored coaching candidate, said after his team was eliminated from the playoffs that coaching is his “calling.”

Fisher, who has been linked to the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers vacancies, confirmed his interest in coaching during a press conference on Sunday.

Fisher helped the Thunder reach the Western Conference finals before they were ousted by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

The 39-year-old appeared ready to end his playing career and pursue coaching. But he did not announce his retirement.

“I think I’ve always — for the last decade — really felt my purpose in life and calling was to be in a leadership position or some position of impact on other people,” he said. “I didn’t know if that would be philanthropic, community, business, management, continuing to play. But somehow I’ve been blessed to positively impact other people. I didn’t know how that vision would come to life.

“Coaching allows me to positively impact other people’s lives, to help people find success when they haven’t or have, working together for common goal. That’s what I did for 33 years as a player, starting with basketball at age 6. There’s a love for helping other people. Not playing anymore — if that’s what it’s to be — coaching or being in the front office or being in a role where I can positively impact others and work together for a common goal is exciting to me.”

Fisher lives in Los Angeles with his four young children. It is not clear if he is willing to move to New York. He helped the Lakers win five NBA titles in the 2000s under coach Phil Jackson, the new Knicks president. His leadership and familiarity with Jackson’s triangle offense make him an ideal fit for the Knicks.

But Fisher may not want to jump into coaching right away. He plans to discuss his future with his family before making any decisions.

He did seem enticed by the possibility of working with Jackson or his former team.

“There’s for sure huge layers added to a personal and professional relationship I’ve had with Phil Jackson over the years and the position he’s in,” Fisher said. “Also with the Lakers having an opening for sure adds layers to it. Any important decision in life you can’t be driven completely by what’s going on externally. You have to have an internal set of boundaries. I’ll combine all those things to make the best decision possible.”