12:33pm: Begley has updated his story to add that Fisher is considering playing in China if he can’t find a suitable NBA opportunity.
11:47am: Derek Fisher made a rare leap directly from his playing career to a coaching career in 2014, when he became the Knicks’ head coach less than two weeks after playing in a postseason game for the Thunder. Now, it appears that Fisher is mulling another unusual career move.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, Fisher has been “exploring options and expressing interest in playing again,” at age 41 (42 next Tuesday). Fisher himself hinted at the possibility of a comeback on Tuesday when he posted a Facebook video that showed him working out and featured the hashtag #Imnotdoneyet.
Based on Begley’s report, it’s not clear if any teams have reciprocated Fisher’s interest, or if the longtime NBA point guard has simply put out some feelers, but it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on.
There has been no shortage of former NBA players exploring potential returns to the league this year, with league-wide free agent spending at an all-time high. Fisher has a stronger case than many of those other players attempting comebacks — he was a regular contributor up until the 2013/14 season, when he averaged 17.6 minutes per game in 81 regular-season contests, then appeared in another 19 playoff games.
Assuming he’s still in good shape, Fisher could get a look from teams interested in him as much for his locker-room presence and veteran leadership as for his on-court contributions.