Derek Fisher’s first stint as an NBA coach didn’t last too long.
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson fired Fisher as the team’s head coach Monday and promoted assistant Kurt Rambis as interim coach. The Knicks announced the changes on Twitter, having fallen to 23-31 after losing nine of their last 10 games.
Jackson hired Fisher, who played under the Hall of Fame coach for several seasons on the Los Angeles Lakers, in June 2014 with the hopes of revitalizing the struggling Knicks. Yet Fisher didn’t find any success in his first NBA season, guiding New York to the league’s second-worst record at 17-65.
Things got off to a promising start in 2015-16, as the Knicks sported a .500 record as late as Jan. 20 thanks in part to the strong play of fourth overall pick Kristaps Porzingis. The wheels have fallen off of late, though, as New York has won just once since that date to drop to twelfth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings.
Fisher’s .292 winning percentage (40-96) is the second-worst in franchise history, behind Larry Brown, who won just 28 percent of his games during his one season in New York in 2006.
Fisher also made the news for a few off-court incidents this season. The 41-year-old became involved in a nasty spat with Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes after reportedly taking up with Barnes’ ex-wife. This past weekend, Fisher fired a verbal shot at Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo, who amid rumors he’d be traded to the Knicks claimed the triangle offense wouldn’t be a good look for him.
“You can’t ask a player who wasn’t very successful playing against it if he wants to play in it,” Fisher said, via the New York Daily News. “That’s your opinion whether or not he’s an elite player,” he said.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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