Derek Fisher: “We were doing a lot of really good things with the Knicks. That’s what bothers me. The good that was being done got overshadowed by opinion, actually—inaccurate opinion about a personal matter. Nobody really knows what happened, because there’s been just noise about what happened.”
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Almost like a naive young couple’s knowledge that above all they love each other, Fisher and Jackson just figured they’d make a marriage work, regardless of what real life was like. “We both didn’t know exactly what we were doing,” Fisher said. “Being the head coach is not like playing. Being president is not like being the head coach. That’s one of the reasons why we didn’t quite complete our meshing and blending of talents and thoughts, because those two positions are not always aligned.”
“I was shocked,’’ Durant said Friday at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto during All-Star Weekend festivities. “I thought he was doing a great job. Melo missed [seven] games. It’s tough losing your best player. I thought he was doing a great job, man.
“This league, it don’t matter what your record is nowadays. You still get fired. I don’t know who’s doing it deep in the organization internally. Record doesn’t matter anymore if you’re a coach. Fish did a great job. It’s tough to turn an organization around in a year-and-a-half. He did the best he could do. I‘m sure he walked out with a lot of peace.’’
Veteran Knicks mostly took the firing of Derek Fisher in stride, understanding that it is part of the business, but they also expressed regret that their former coach took the fall for what they described as a group failure. “I was surprised; in my mind I don’t think the problem was really with one person,” said Robin Lopez, one of four regulars who spoke in the locker room before Tuesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden against the Wizards, shortly after Carmelo Anthony had addressed reporters in a club area just outside the room.
Anthony said Fisher will be back as a head coach somewhere. “My short stint with Fish, my hat goes off to him as a coach, as a player,’’ Anthony said. “I respected [him] a lot especially for coming in and taking on this seat, here in New York coaching the Knicks. First-time coach, so it was a new experience for him. I’m pretty sure me knowing him he will learn from this experience and he will be on somebody else’s sideline pretty soon — if that’s what he wants.’’
“I saw Coach right before he was leaving [and] I said goodbye to him,” Porzingis said about his final encounter with Fisher on Monday. “It was a shock for me at that moment when he said he wasn’t going to be my coach anymore. He said some good words to me, and I am very thankful for what he did for me and I told him that.”
Derek Fisher: I want to express my deepest gratitude to James Dolan, Phil Jackson, Steve Mills and the entire New York Knicks organization for giving me this incredible opportunity. I also want to thank my staff, players and the fans for their passion and support. This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed. Obviously, I’m disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it.
The Knicks president posted to Twitter on Tuesday a lengthy “explanation” of his basketball philosophy and outlook for the franchise following the dismissal of coach Derek Fisher the day prior. “I am sad about D-Fish,” Jackson wrote, to preface his mind-bending mini-essay. “However, I’m not discouraged. Here is some things pundits should know before assuming ‘next.’”
An opening paragraph references psychologists Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow in a thicket of notions about “self actualization,” with a canny suggestion to buy his book on the subject. Jackson returns to planet Earth in the second paragraph, though, when he begins getting specific about management styles. He subscribes to the theory of transformational leadership, which moves an organization toward collective evolution, as opposed to the transactional approach, which promotes the status quo. “This is also a clue for people that inquire about who might work as a leader for this Knick team,” Jackson wrote. “Inside that style of play for that leader is the idea that there should be a system of play that includes the group. [Ed. note: Huh????] How that is done can include using the Δ system of basketball, but doesn’t exclude other systems that include group play.”
As a young NBA coach, the fastest path to losing a locker room comes this way: Behave like a player. To fly to California and visit a girlfriend in the middle of the New York Knicks’ training camp – engaging Matt Barnes in a Tom-and-Jerry tussle-and-chase – cost Derek Fisher dearly. Fisher lost the moral high ground inside Madison Square Garden, lost a measure of gravitas as a leader of men. The embarrassment of his unfilmed “Real Housewives” episode didn’t cost Fisher his job as Knicks coach, but it did start him on a slippery slope toward his firing on Monday.
Inside the locker room, the Knicks had come to struggle with understanding how they fit into this team, league sources said. Above Fisher, Jackson worried about how that impacted the development of the roster. What’s more, there were times Jackson felt Fisher had strayed too far from the triangle offense, still a sacred part of the Knicks president’s program.
And Fisher had a habit of coming across as condescending and arrogant with the media. When your career coaching record is 40-96, you can’t act like Mr. Know-It-All because clearly you ain’t. And of course he never had the support staff to tell him otherwise.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Phil Jackson said Derek Fisher’s firing was not due to Fisher’s recent comments about focusing on the process rather than making the playoffs. “I didn’t react to Derek’s comments last week about the playoffs not being important and whatever’s not a measure,” Jackson said. “The understanding was turning around a team that’s won 17 games and making a 40, 42-win season out of it… Saying that, we still think there’s a way for (the players) to play better. “
“There was film I didn’t like in one of those ballgames and I asked the coaching staff to come in and sit down,” Jackson said. “It was an off day, and some of the coaches weren’t notified.” Later, Jackson expounded, asserting that he’d surrounded Fisher with experienced assistants — namely, Jackson confidants Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons — and that Fisher had not embraced their input as much as he could have. “If he didn’t take advantage of that, maybe that’s part of it,” Jackson said. “… Derek hired some young guys who came in and have helped him and have a really good work ethic and really met the standard that he likes. There wasn’t really a consensus in our staff and we decided we needed to have a real good consensus in the working of the staff – interchanging of ideas, good communication.”
Matt Barnes threw a punch at Derek Fisher that cost him two games, but after the Knicks coach’s firing, Barnes posted a picture worth a thousand words. In the hour after Fisher was fired by the Knicks, Barnes took to Instagram to post a photo of himself staring into the camera with a look that pretty much said it all, no caption needed. Barnes and Fisher have been at war with each other ever since Oct. 3, when Barnes caught Fisher at the home of his estranged wife Gloria Govan.
Brian Windhorst: Guaranteed portion of Derek Fisher’s contract is 4 years and $17 million, according to a source. Knicks owe him $8.5 million next 2 years
Chris Herring: Phil, on Matt Barnes: “No one’s happy about it, or what came out of it.” But says that wasn’t the rationale behind the firing
Scott Cacciola: Phil: “This was my decision.” Said Dolan had nothing to do with it.
The news struck Byron Scott in multiple ways. The Lakers’ coach sounded incredulous over the Knicks firing Derek Fisher as head coach, both out of respect for the coaching field and because they played one season together nearly 20 years ago with the Lakers. “I just shook my head,” Scott said. “I’ve been in this business a long time. Nothing really surprises me. But was I a little surprised by that? Yeah.”
“Every situation is different,” Scott said on coaching firings. “It really depends on what the GM and owners want. Some are unrealistic in some instances. I have no clue, to be honest with you about what most teams want. Fisher is a prime example. This business is very, very hard to deal with a times. But you have to deal with it. This is the chosen profession for us. You’re going to deal with sometimes getting fired unexpected and sometimes it’s warranted. You just have to deal with it.”
Brian Geltzeiler: Been told that Walton is the clear first choice twitter.com/windhorstespn/…
NY_KnicksPR: Feb. 8-Phil Jackson announced that Derek Fisher has been relieved of his coaching duties.
The New York Knicks have fired coach Derek Fisher after a 23-31 start to his second season, sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. New York has lost nine of 10 games and five in a row. The Knicks went 17-65 in his first season.
NY_KnicksPR: Kurt Rambis has been named the interim head coach.
Ian Begley: The Knicks have fired Derek Fisher, ESPN has learned. Management was disappointed with team’s performance, decided change was needed.
Ramona Shelburne: The Knicks have fired Derek Fisher, sources told ESPN.
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say that the Knicks have fired coach Derek Fisher
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December 2, 2020 | 1:06 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $85 million maximum contract extension with the franchise, CEO of Klutch Sports, Rich Paul, told @The Athletic @Stadium.
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James’ two-year, $85 million extension – as confirmed to ESPN by his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports – will take him through the 2022-23 season, giving him 20 in the NBA. His oldest son, Bronny, is slated to graduate high school in 2023. The Athletic first w/ extension
Dane Moore: A source within the league told me a suspension for Malik Beasley is “likely” in response to his arrest this fall. Asked today about whether Beasley might be facing a suspension, Gersson Rosas said “it’s an ongoing process” that Beasley and the team have fully cooperated with.
Unfortunately, Gordon’s tenure in Detroit would be nothing like Chicago, his numbers dropped and they never made a playoff appearance. He was traded to Charlotte along with a future first rounder for Corey Maggette in 2012. Back in 2018, Ben sat down to discuss his move to the sign with the Pistons. (Via Streets First Podcast) “I went to Detroit. That was the worst decision that I’ve ever made in my life, I said it. I loved Detroit. I loved it, but it was the worst decision I’ve ever made.”