OAKLAND, Calif. - Derek Fisher says he hasn't thought about what he would be doing if Steve Kerr had accepted Phil Jackson's offer to coach the Knicks. Fisher doesn't believe there's any reason to look back.
Kerr's decision looks like a stroke of genius. He took over a team that won 51 games last season and now owns the NBA's best record. There's no reason for him to look back.
The two first-time coaches with five championship rings each as players met Saturday night at Oracle Arena with their focus on the present. But Fisher, whose team has the NBA's worst record, says it's hard to not look ahead.
"I think it's difficult to do that no matter what the circumstances are," Fisher said. "It's challenging to just remain present and aware of where you are at the moment. So that's just a challenge that we try to talk to our guys about every single day, and even as we do go forward and grow, that all goes with the challenge.
"Even after we find success, it'll be a challenge to stay in the moment of even where we are then compared to where we've been and where we're going. But the best are able to do so. That's what we're trying to become."
Everything concerning the Knicks (13-51) is about the future.
Jackson spoke about it at length Thursday in Los Angeles. He said the events of the season forced him to fast-forward and start preparing for next season and beyond.
Jackson said the Knicks will build through free agency and doesn't believe their record or how the triangle offense has been viewed or criticized will affect whether a player wants to sign. Fisher agrees.
"I don't know if a player is going to decide whether or not the system is the factor that's going to make the biggest difference whether he signs with the team or not," he said. " . . . We're selling who we are, and right now that's a part of who we are. I don't think that a guy that knows how to play basketball would be afraid of having an opportunity to come and play basketball here."
The Warriors (51-13) have been built differently than what Jackson intends to do with the Knicks. Their core players -- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green -- were drafted by the Warriors. They added key pieces in veterans Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and David Lee. But Golden State showed patience with Curry and endured some lean years.
The Knicks have only one pick in the next two drafts, so they have to be smart with it and find the right players on the market to fill their needs.
"Resources for us have never been an issue," Fisher said. "So it's more about how we utilize those resources or where we invest them. I think quality people always make what you do special. So we've got to make sure that from top to bottom, we're surrounded with quality people that are striving to be the best in the world at what they do.
" . . . We have the opportunity to do it. The resources are there. Now it's up to the human beings involved to figure it out. We have some very successful basketball people to figure it out. And it's not just going to happen overnight . . . We have to accept the fact that becoming great does take time, but we're willing to put that time in."
Jose Calderon missed his eighth straight game with a left Achilles injury. Fisher said he will be re-evaluated after the Knicks return home Monday.