Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Zen Master Fined $25K

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Zen Master Fined $25K

Article excerpt

Phil Jackson will begin his official courtship of Derek Fisher this week. But his unofficial interest cost him already, as the NBA handed down a $25,000 fine for tampering Monday.

Jackson spoke about Fisher on Friday in a meeting with Knicks reporters. He tried to parse his words carefully, hoping to avoid a fine while still being reasonably honest -- just as he'd been open about his interest in Steve Kerr before Kerr bolted his TNT broadcast job and a commitment to Jackson for a job as head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Asked Friday if he could say publicly he wanted to talk to Fisher, Jackson said, "No, I'm not allowed to say, 'Boo,' I think. I said, "b-o" but I didn't get the other 'o' out and the league already called me up. No, I didn't say that."

He then just described what he liked about Fisher, who played for him in Los Angeles, but the NBA said he crossed a line with Fisher still under contract as a player for the Oklahoma City Thunder -- although he is almost certain to retire. …

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