The New York Knicks have fired coach Derek Fisher after a five-game losing streak left the team 1-9 in its last 10 games.
The Knicks are 23-31 this season after going 17-65 in Fisher’s first season. New York’s current losing skid contributed to the timing of the move, but the team was already convinced Fisher was not transitioning from the role of player to coach effectively, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Fisher was hired by team president Phil Jackson to rectify the struggling New York franchise. Fisher and Jackson have a history together dating back to when Jackson coached the Lakers, and Fisher was a point guard on the team that won five championships.
Fisher, who had no previous head coaching experience, took over for Mike Woodson, who went 109-79 in parts of three seasons in New York. Woodson, however, won only one playoff series. The Knicks currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference.
Fisher thanked Jackson, Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan, along with his players and staff. “This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed,” Fisher said in a statement. “Obviously, I’m disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it.”
Jackson made the final decision on firing Fisher, according to league sources with knowledge of the decision. As is common when a major personnel decision is made, Jackson consulted Dolan, who signed off on Jackson’s decision.
Assistant Kurt Rambis will now serve as interim coach. Rambis played on four Lakers title teams and was a coach or executive for four others. He coached the Timberwolves to a 56-145 mark from 2009-11.
It sounds like Derek’s having a pretty rough year.