New York Knicks president Phil Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for tampering with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher, ESPN.com reported Monday.
Jackson was reportedly fined for statements he made during a press conference last week about the possibility of hiring Fisher as the Knicks coach.
The NBA fined Jackson, in part, to reinforce its annual reminder to teams about its anti-tampering rules. Teams are not permitted to directly or indirectly express interest in other teams’ looming free agents.
ESPN.com also reported that Jackson’s first substantive talk with Fisher about the Knicks’ job is scheduled to take place this week.
Sources told ESPN.com that Jackson is planning to connect with Fisher by week’s end, giving Fisher some time after the Thunder were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.
Fisher said earlier that he wants to someday coach in the NBA. He helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA titles in the 2000s when Jackson coached the team.
—Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, highlights the 2013-14 NBA All-Defensive First Team.
The NBA announced that Noah received 105 first-team votes and 223 points. It is his second consecutive year on the first team.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (161 points, 65 first-team votes), Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (156, 64), Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (152, 54) and Golden State Warriors guard/forward Andre Iguodala (148, 57) join Noah on the first team.
—New Detroit Pistons coach and president Stan Van Gundy is close to hiring Marist coach Jeff Bower as general manager, according to Yahoo Sports.
Bower also has longtime experience in the NBA. In 15 years with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, Bower served in a variety of capacities including general manager, coach and scout.
—San Antonio could not finish what it started last season, when a Finals near-miss included a Game 6 loss in which the Spurs blew a five-point lead in the final 20 seconds and another defeat in Game 7.
But Thursday’s Game 1 and NBA Finals rematch with the Miami Heat gives Tim Duncan and the Spurs a shot at another title and redemption.
“They don’t like us, they don’t. I can sense it from Timmy’s comments over the last couple of days,” LeBron James said Monday following practice in Miami. “They wanted this, they wanted us and we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
—The Spurs expect injured point guard Tony Parker to play on Thursday against the Heat, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Parker sprained an ankle during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder and sat out the second half of the series-clinching Game 6.
—The Spurs are a slight favorite to dethrone the Heat as NBA champions, according to oddsmakers Bovada.LV.
The Spurs were given 4/5 odds to win the title while the Heat are set at 21/20.
—Win or lose, the Finals will be the last for Heat forward Shane Battier.
A veteran of 13 NBA seasons, the former Duke All-American is planning to join ESPN’s college basketball Gameday crew, bypassing a run for senate in his home state of Michigan.
“It would take an act of God to change it and that act of God hasn’t come,” Battier told Turner Sports.
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