On June 9, 2013, the Brooklyn Nets formally announced the hiring of coach Jason Kidd, the former New Jersey Nets legend who had retired from the NBA less than ten days earlier. The contract was reportedly for four years and $10.5 million, with three years and $7.5 million guaranteed.
Fast-forward 361 days, and multiple outlets have reported that the New York Knicks, run by president Phil Jackson, will hire Jackson’s former player Derek Fisher, a point guard facing retirement, to a five-year deal worth — get this — $25 million:
It is immediately unclear whether the fifth year is guaranteed or includes a team option. Fisher’s deal matches the five-year, $25 million agreement Kerr reached with Golden State, but is less of a commitment than what New York initially offered Kerr to become its coach.
Fisher’s coaching staff is expected to include Bill Cartwright and Kurt Rambis, sources told Yahoo Sports.
All share longtime coaching or playing experience with Jackson, and Fisher plans to run Jackson’s famed triangle offense with the Knicks.
via Yahoo! Sports — Sources: Derek Fisher finalizing $25 million deal to coach Knicks
So we’ve now got a new wrinkle for Nets-Knicks game: two bald former point guards in New York City who turned coaches immediately after retiring, one to join forces with his former franchise, and one to join forces with his former coach.
Well now I'm pretty sure my dad started a trend…
— TJ Kidd (@TJKidd5) June 9, 2014
Fisher, to his credit, is one of the league’s elder statesmen and a respected player league-wide. But he’s nowhere near the Hall of Fame talent Kidd ever was, and Kidd’s on-court basketball IQ is one of the best in league history. Nonetheless, Fisher’s deal adds up to $5 million per season, while Kidd is slated to make an average $2.6 million per year if his final year gets picked up by the Nets.
After Steve Kerr, another former player, spurned the Knicks for an identical 5-year, $25 million deal this summer to coach the Golden State Warriors, Kidd’s contract looks like a bargain.
Of course, it’s not like Kidd needs the money: Fisher only made over $5 million in a season four times in his career, while Kidd made nearly $200 million in NBA salary. It’s also possible that the Knicks felt the need to out-bid the Los Angeles Lakers. But it’ll cost them $5 million per season, for a coach who hasn’t formally announced his retirement as a player yet.