But the idea was always to hire someone he's worked with in the past who would also welcome Jackson's on-the-floor presence at training camp and practices, thus allowing the 68-year-old to have more of an impact than he might have if restricted to a front-office role.
So Jackson turned to Fisher, who played in an NBA record 259 playoff games and won an NBA record 161. Fisher isn't the first point guard to go straight from the playing floor to the bench.
Fisher takes over a Knicks team that finished with just 37 wins last season and missed the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Jackson fired Mike Woodson and his coaching staff shortly after the conclusion of the regular season. Fisher and Jackson will work together to fill out the coaching staff.
Bill Cartwright has already interviewed for a position on staff. Other candidates include Kurt Rambis, Luke Walton, Ron Harper and Jim Cleamons. Fisher is the 26th coach in franchise history and the eighth since Jeff Van Gundy left the post in 2001.
Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Darren Rovell and Ramona Shelburne, ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk and Mike Mazzeo and ESPN Stats & Info was used in this report.