Knicks Fire Derek Fisher

Multiple news sources, including on social media, have reported that the New York Knicks have fired Derek Fisher.

What the exact cause of the firing is unknown at this time, however the timing comes after New York has dropped 5 straight games and 9 of their last 10. From my perspective, it’s less about the wins & losses as this year is more about developing the youngsters, especially Porzingis. Nonetheless it seems that in many of the games the team, or at least some of the players, weren’t “there” mentally. And that behavior usually indicates the loss of respect for the coach.

It’ll be interesting to see what direction the team goes in. Will they keep an interim coach for the year (Rambis)? Or will they try to grab the best available now (still Sloan although that’s a pipe dream)? Will the next coach keep the triangle offense or be allowed to run whatever offense he chooses?

EDITED:

Official word from MSG:

NEW YORK, February 8, 2016 – New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that Derek Fisher has been relieved of his coaching duties. Associate Head Coach Kurt Rambis has been named the interim head coach.

Fisher, who was originally hired on Jun. 10, 2014, finishes his Knicks coaching career with an overall record of 40-96 (.294).

Rambis becomes the 27th head coach in franchise history. Originally hired as the team’s associate head coach on Jul. 7, 2014, the 18-year NBA coaching veteran starts his second-stint as a head coach, after leading the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons from 2009-10 through 2010-11 (56-145). The Terre Haute, IN native was a member of eight NBA Championship teams, all as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers (four as a player and four as a coach or executive). Rambis becomes the fifth former Knicks draft pick to coach the team (third round, 58th overall in the 1980 NBA Draft).

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

184 thoughts to “Knicks Fire Derek Fisher”

  1. I mean, Luke Walton has to be the #1 target here, right? Nobody else from the triangle family makes sense.

  2. F the triangle. Hire Thibs… also this makes no sense. The teams has won 6 more games than last year and building.

  3. I like Thibs, and maybe Phil can get the most out of him.

    What about Luke Walton? Is he just the product of Golden State?

    I know college -> pros isn’t always a good transfer, but what about Sean Miller? I’m not a big college fan, but I know he also coaches the USA under 19 team which went 7-0.

  4. My main concern is that it indicates we are on a short-term, Melo-centric timeline. If so, we may see some poor decisions this summer.

    Hopefully it was just some internal philosophical differences. I’d hate for it simply to be a reaction to losing 9/10.

  5. Even though I didn’t care for some of Fisher’s substitution patterns I respect him greatly. He had this team playing so hard for him and I really enjoyed how hard they worked for him. It’s a shame but probably best for the future.

  6. I Think its very important that they hire the coach now as opposed to waiting until the offseason.

    Thibs is a top coach , let him finish off the season, get acclimated with the roster and start off running next year.

    Nothing worse then hearing they are in the learning stage at the beginning of the season.

  7. I am very surprised by this decision. Still, I wonder if mgmt bristled at his comments on ESPN radio a couple weeks ago when asked if he’d be disappointed if the knicks didn’t make the playoffs, which arguably may have lessened player motivations:

    “No. Disappointed in what?” Fisher asked. “We’re a developing team with a ton of new players. There are not a lot of elite teams that are depending on rookies to carry the day. So … We have to be reasonable about who we are and where we are and accept what is and not get caught up in what we should be and allow other people to define what our success is.”

    Thibs would give this team immediate toughness. But would he have to “buy in” to the triangle, or would Jax move further away from it?

  8. I think Thibs is a terrible choice, to be honest. Maybe the last guy I want in charge of the embryonic stages of the Porzingis era. I’m not down with playing KP 42 minutes a game and being completely broken down within 8 years.

  9. I didnt think he was a good coach. He didnt really look to be improving and I dont think they were playing that hard for him. Am I surprised they fired him already? Absolutely. But I dont think it is a mistake. Unless they hire Brian Shaw.

  10. Wasn’t it just the other day where Porzingis stated that the team should be adding more PnR to it’s offense? I thought that was odd for a neophyte to be saying about his coach’s schemes. Had Fish lost the confidence of Porzingis or possibly of the whole team?

  11. I’m fine with Thibs or Walton but I’m concerned about Thibs’ propensity to run players into the ground while also unfairly stonewalling rookies/favoring veteran players.

    I said in the thread before I think this means that Phil means business and is open to anything to improve the team/secure its viability, including trading Melo. I really hope he’s not thinking along the lines of Hubert, though.

  12. I guess that those on here who kept blindly defending Fisher as he was screwing up might have to eat a little crow now. I hear it tastes a lot like chicken.

  13. Idk if you’re talking about me, but I know I’ve always been clear about my preference for another coach–I just didn’t think he was legit HORRIBLE like Byron Scott; more bottom 5-7 than bottom 2

  14. Adieu Derek. I will miss your attire.

    Thibs has delivered results in the past but I have often wondered to what extent it’s been by running short rotations and by essentially burning through bodies. This is not backed by stats at all, just have always felt as an observer that Thibs’ style is somewhat unsustainable and also never likely to be a free agent draw.

    But honestly, as long as Porzingis is given a shot to develop, I don’t care who is coaching…

  15. I guess that those on here who kept blindly defending Fisher as he was screwing up might have to eat a little crow now. I hear it tastes a lot like chicken.

    Did you really just use the actions of Knicks management as evidence to back up an opinion? I mean I wasn’t particularly pro-Fisher, but that is some specious logic. Knicks management has made (triple checks my math) about three good decision in the last 20 years. If anything them firing Fish is probably the best evidence that he’s about to become a top-3 coach in his next gig.

  16. I don’t necessarily agree with going up to your ex-wife’s house and punching out her new boyfriend, but you have to believe that 90% of NBA players side with Barnes. Heck, it’s probably 99.9%. When your main qualification of being an NBA coach is being a “winner” and being a principled leader of men, it seems like going 40-96 and backstabbing someone who at least previously considered you a friend just might make you a liability going forward.

    Again – I’m not making any comment on whether it was appropriate for Barnes to punch him — just saying the perception amongst NBA players was probably very very very bad. And unless you’re winning and/or an obviously good coach, that perception would probably be difficult to overcome in a FA sell when many other teams have $$$ to spend too.

    I’d be 100% on board with Thibs. I’d be floored if it happened but that would be a great hire.

    JVG returning has always been my dream, but he has quite the history with Dolan and Phil.

  17. It’s not like Fish was a great coach here but I have to say I find this pretty discouraging. There are what, like three guys on the entire planet who can coach this stupid system? As far as I can tell, one of the three is the GM, the other is the interim coach and the third is Brian Shaw. So, uh, Brian Shaw is gonna be the coach?

    This is kind of like the moment of truth here. Either step outside the rigid and slavish devotion to the Triangle, or hire Brian Shaw.

  18. Conspiracy theory and top of mind for recent few games… Phil had finally seen enough. Watching his team fight and come back from deficits playing ball the right way … Passing, moving, intensity … A crispness to their methods…..Only to resort to nonsense and ultimately lose … Fischer couldn’t corral the Bull Shit.

  19. I’m fine with the firing-I don’t think Fisher was terrible, but I didn’t see anything that made me think he was particularly good either. I do hope they have a better plan B than Brian Shaw though

  20. This is kind of like the moment of truth here. Either step outside the rigid and slavish devotion to the Triangle, or hire Brian Shaw.

    +1

    these are scary times to be a Knicks fan.

  21. This is peculiar. Not that Fisher was great, but to just can a coach after just one and a half seasons. Shaw would be a disaster. Count me in with the Thibs will just run them into the ground in pursuit of short term success crowd.

  22. Whether or not Fish was a great coach, it’s just a very peculiar move that makes it difficult to understand where this team’s priorities lie.

    In my opinion, everything should revolve around Porzingis. Assuming Kurt Rambis doesn’t land the gig, we’ll be starting off his career with three coaches in his first calendar year.

    And if the next guy doesn’t work out…

    I never got the idea that Fish was a great coach, but I also understood that his first season was an absolute mulligan and he’s only been coaching this year for a little more than half a season. It just seems early to cut the cord on him, and the suddenness of it calls into question our long term thinking.

    What do we gain by firing him now and not at the end of the season? I just don’t understand the logic.

  23. Fisher made a strange comment in the press after the loss yesterday where he said he bears some responsibility over the run of 1-9 for the team’s seeming lack of preparation at the outset of the game, falling behind. It was defensive, and appeared to be something that came from him, as if he was taking heat from inside because the team was starting from a hole.
    Maybe nothing, but I was pretty frustrated watching them get dogged early, only to see them basically outplay their opponent for the last three quarters but fall just short. That is on the coach.

  24. I think this means management thinks this team has the horse to make the playoffs but Fisher is costing the wins.

  25. I thought Fisher was going to be a good coach, but when I’m wrong with coaches, it’s almost always with the same type of guy – player’s coaches. I thought Jacque Vaughn, Terry Porter, Byron Scott and Brian Shaw were all going to be good coaches (I thought Shaw was going to be a great coach) and they were all godawful coaches. Fisher wasn’t as bad, but he definitely wasn’t nearly the thinker that I thought he was. So I was fine with losing him pretty much as soon as he took over, as he made it pretty clear he wasn’t going to be a special coach. But there’s so few coaches out there that know the Triangle that I was okay with him sticking around for the rest of this season because there weren’t any better Triangle coaches available (Rambis? Cleamons? Shaw?!!?) and then if Walton was available, then I could see a change happening (but not even then, as I didn’t see Jackson parting with him before letting him start a third season).

    But firing him now is shocking. I am gobsmacked. Jackson rarely reacts like this. So this is worrisome.

    And omigod, Brian Shaw would be a disaster. I’d rather just keep Rambis.

    I’m actually pretty damn worried right now.

  26. Yeah, I’m worried too. I thought that Jackson was going to mentor Fisher into a good coach. I think this might indicate that Dolan isn’t happy. And if that’s the case we might be headed to some real trouble.

  27. Maybe nothing, but I was pretty frustrated watching them get dogged early, only to see them basically outplay their opponent for the last three quarters but fall just short. That is on the coach.

    That’s basketball. Just because you outplay your opponents after getting blown out to start doesn’t mean you were the better team and the coach cost you a game.

    I just wonder what the expectations are internally. And if they are as short term as this firing indicates, what else should we expect.

    I mean, would we turn down a first round pick for Williams or Afflalo because we internally have a playoffs-or-bust mentality for this season? Is that where we are?

  28. Yeah, If Dolan was involved in this personnel decision that does not bode well for the future of this team–it implies JD is getting more and more impatient with Phil, which entails a greater role for our moron owner.

  29. If it turns out he was fired for hitting on Lala or whatever as long as this wasn’t Jimmy butting in it is better than it was 3 years ago.

  30. Yeah, I’m not down with more activity from our moron owner. I’m going to disown this team of Isaiah peeks his head in the door.

  31. Fisher was just a poor coach. Sometimes a duck is just a duck.
    Constantly saying that it was all on the players ignores the very reason a good coach is necessary. It’s never just about the players.

  32. I mean, would we turn down a first round pick for Williams or Afflalo because we internally have a playoffs-or-bust mentality for this season? Is that where we are?

    It seems kind of clear to me that Jackson thinks the playoffs are a key to his rebuilding process, as making the playoffs shows free agents that the Knicks are worth playing for. The thing that worries me about that are:

    A. I don’t agree with that rebuilding approach period, as I think they should be playing more of a long game
    B. He put together the 2014-15 Knicks team with that same intention and it ended up being the worst Knicks team ever
    C. He put together the 2015-16 Knicks team with that intention and it is eight games under .500 with 28 games left to play
    D. Even if this team makes the playoffs, four of the team’s nine rotation players will be free agents at the end of the year because he wanted to give out mostly one-year deals to most of the players he signed.

  33. Huh. I’ve always been pretty neutral on Fisher so I don’t really feel strongly about this. If they want to go in the direction of more a PNR based modern offense, and Walton would seemingly indicate that, I’m on board. If they just did this because of the recent losing and are gonna hire Shaw or some shit, seems dumb.

  34. “If they hire Brian Shaw I am cutting the cord on my cable package….”
    I would say the same thing, except that it would be a lie. Every time I swear that I have had it with this team, I think that I mean it, but I always keep coming back. Sad to say, but I am the type of sucker fan that incompetent owners count on. Unfortunately, for better or worse, my guess is that most of you are the same way.

  35. I’m not worried about this being Dolan’s influence. Phil Jackson is not going to fire his coaching project unless he wants to. If anything, I see this as a good thing, in that Jackson is not letting his ego get in the way of admitting a mistake and making a change. What is a little scary, is that this implies we are in more of a “win now” mode than I would have expected…

  36. So, the Twitterverse seems to think Luke Walton and Brian Shaw are the top candidates.

    See, this right here is why the Triangle circa 2016 is a bad idea. You fire your coach, and the potential pool of replacement coaches consists of two dudes, one of whom might not be available because he is an assistant for the best team in the league, and the other of whom is a completely failed coach.

    I’m not getting good vibes from this whole thing at all.

  37. I would say the same thing, except that it would be a lie. Every time I swear that I have had it with this team, I think that I mean it, but I always keep coming back. Sad to say, but I am the type of sucker fan that incompetent owners count on. Unfortunately, for better or worse, my guess is that most of you are the same way.

    Yeah, I’m in this thing way too deep. :) I’m never getting out.

  38. Is Barnes looking for a coaching gig? Would be fitting for this disgraced, inept organization…

  39. Wild Speculation: Any chance Kerr told Phil he’d be willing to coach the NYK next season but only if he’s allowed to implement an offensive system with Triangle-like features? GSW does do more cutting than any other team. Many things have changed in the last couple of years: Kerr’s won a title, his daughter graduated, nothing left to prove or do for GSW, KP drafted, Melo’s mellowed into more of a team player. The NYK would be a real challenge for him. Better to fire Fish now than have the team bounce back and make it difficult to do this summer. Probability: 2.35%

  40. I’m not worried about this being Dolan’s influence. Phil Jackson is not going to fire his coaching project unless he wants to. If anything, I see this as a good thing, in that Jackson is not letting his ego get in the way of admitting a mistake and making a change. What is a little scary, is that this implies we are in more of a “win now” mode than I would have expected…

    It’s a fascinating question – something had to have given in, right?

    So was it Jackson’s ego (which is normally so intractable that I thought for sure that Fisher would at least start next season as the Knicks’ coach) or Dolan’s pledge not to get involved with Jackson’s running of the team?

    Doesn’t the second one seem the more likely one?

    And yes, the idea that this team is in “win-now” mode is ab-freaking-surd.

  41. So was it Jackson’s ego (which is normally so intractable that I thought for sure that Fisher would at least start next season as the Knicks’ coach) or Dolan’s pledge not to get involved with Jackson’s running of the team?

    I don’t know, I really think if Dolan gave him an ultimatum like “Fire Fish or you’re gone!” Phil would just walk. Dolan needs him a hell of a lot more than he needs Dolan. It really makes me think that Fish lost the team, and it was getting pretty obvious.

  42. If I’m Luke Walton and Phil called me I’d laugh and hang up the phone.

    Right. Luke freaking Walton would hang up on one of his mentors and refuse to consider taking the reins of one of the flagship franchises in all of professional sports.

    He’ll likely be in demand this summer, but no way in the world he hangs up on Phil and the New York Knicks. Even a Knicks franchise that has been laughingstock-ish

    Question is which job Luke will take if both the Lakers and Knicks come calling. He’s definitely a california guy. But the Lakers are even more a mess than the Knicks right now.

  43. Wild Speculation: Any chance Kerr told Phil he’d be willing to coach the NYK next season but only if he’s allowed to implement an offensive system with Triangle-like features? GSW does do more cutting than any other team. Many things have changed in the last couple of years: Kerr’s won a title, his daughter graduated, nothing left to prove or do for GSW, KP drafted, Melo’s mellowed into more of a team player. The NYK would be a real challenge for him. Better to fire Fish now than have the team bounce back and make it difficult to do this summer. Probability: 2.35%

    Let me change that to Probability: 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance. if there weren’t a character limit (and if i didn’t mind hitting more 0’s) it’d be even less than that. This is even beyond the Dumb and Dumber “so you’re saying there’s a chance”.

  44. Stephen A. with a very insightful comment: “this shows Phil Jackson is committed to winning”.

    Yes, I was concerned he was committed to losing, I feel a lot better now.

  45. While we’re talking about ridiculous prospects for head coach next year: Kobe!!!! Shaq for assistant.

  46. I don’t know, I really think if Dolan gave him an ultimatum like “Fire Fish or you’re gone!” Phil would just walk. Dolan needs him a hell of a lot more than he needs Dolan. It really makes me think that Fish lost the team, and it was getting pretty obvious.

    This is what Isola wrote yesterday:

    David Blatt had the best record in the Eastern Conference when he was fired and Kevin McHale was dismissed 11 games after leading Houston to the Western Conference finals. Fisher’s job, however, appears to be safe because he’s Jackson’s guy.

    It’s always good to have the support of the front office. That’s what every coach wants. And Jackson doesn’t appear to be the type to overact. In that sense, Fisher is lucky.

    But at Dolan’s Garden that isn’t always enough.

    I think there’s a big leap between “this was Dolan-driven” and “Dolan gave Jackson an ultimatum – ‘Fire Fish or you’re gone!'”

  47. I wouldn’t consider Isola plugged into the inner-workings of the Knicks by any stretch. If Phil wanted to keep Fish, I have no doubt Fish would still be coach. That’s all I’m saying. I’m sure Dolan has some influence, but I really doubt he has the leverage over Phil to force a major decision like this against Phil’s wishes. Phil Jackson does not strike me as a guy who would be ok with being a figurehead, you know?

  48. I’m neutral on the firing. This is a paper-thin team which can win if everyone is healthy, but even one top-8 rotation guy being out turns that slim margin of error into a losing streak. So while I’m not a fan of Fisher per se, I don’t see our record being much different under a better coach by more than a game or two.

    On the plus side, there were many times this season where the team played beautiful, smart, unselfish basketball. But it all hinged on Melo being healthy. Once his knee started acting up, the house of cards started to break apart. It was clear that we just didn’t have enough for the Celts, Griz, Pistons. The Denver game was pretty alarming, though.

    I’d love to give Walton a chance. He comes from a highly successful hybrid system that uses both PnR and Triangle principles. I wouldn’t be surprised if he refused the gig.

  49. I wouldn’t consider Isola plugged into the inner-workings of the Knicks by any stretch. If Phil wanted to keep Fish, I have no doubt Fish would still be coach. That’s all I’m saying. I’m sure Dolan has some influence, but I really doubt he has the leverage over Phil to force a major decision like this against Phil’s wishes. Phil Jackson does not strike me as a guy who would be ok with being a figurehead, you know?

    I think there’s a big difference between Dolan pressuring him to make a move and him being a figurehead.

    I mention the Isola stuff only because he was right there with this stuff before Fisher got fired.

  50. There are these rumors growing around on Twitter that Fisher was following players’ girlfriends on Snapchat? Anyone else read/hear that?

    For instance: @Dart_Adams: I’ll tell you THIS much. Ain’t no Celtics at practice confused because Brad Stevens is following all of their girlfriends on Snapchat…

  51. Yeah, what else can you draw from the Fisher firing other than that PJ’s pride is hurting. He’s had two straight years where he thought he put together a team that could make the playoffs, and rather than looking in the mirror, he’s decided to scapegoat Fisher. This is a really ominous moves that suggests the new Knick front office is every bit as disconnected from reality as most of the last 15 years.

    Yeah, the Knicks lost 9 of 10. But Melo was if anything a net negative in those games due to injury, so what do you expect when your best player is playing awfully? I will be terrified if PJ hires Thibodeau or Shaw. Thibs is a good coach, but Jackson’s failed already to recognize the challenges of building a great team, and Thibodeau is about as shortsighted and narrow minded as they come. All he can think about is how to win each individual game. Thibodeau would only encourage Jackson to think even more short term, and we’ll mortgage the future again to win 40-50 games for another season or two and then 35-45 as Melo’s body gives out.

  52. Yeah, what else can you draw from the Fisher firing other than that PJ’s pride is hurting. He’s had two straight years where he thought he put together a team that could make the playoffs, and rather than looking in the mirror, he’s decided to scapegoat Fisher. This is a really ominous moves that suggests the new Knick front office is every bit as disconnected from reality as most of the last 15 years.

    Following it a bit on Twitter – but Phil said that Fisher didn’t take advantage of some experienced coaches around him. And Al Iannazone wrote that Fisher was arrogant. Can imagine that maybe he’s doing a bad job and refused to learn from it. And that’s what (on top of him just not being a great coach) led him to be fired.

  53. I have MSG on, waiting for the press conference to show up eventually, and Knicks in 60 is on and wow, Clyde really is such a great announcer.

  54. I really think there has to be something going on with Fisher that we don’t know about (yet). The timing of this move makes no sense, we’re not gonna make the playoffs with Rambis or anyone else as coach, so why not wait until the season is over?

    My bet is Fisher did something embarrassing and Jackson had to let him go.

  55. @Frank

    Aren’t the coaches around Fisher just washed up triangle lackeys? If he was going against their advice, that’s probably been why we’ve seen more pick and roll in some games.

  56. I think Blatt is a good coach and deserves to be a head coach in this league. But I feel he needs a situation like Stevens in Boston, or the Philly or Brooklyn job, where he can overachieve in a building situation, rather than the unreal expectations he faced in Cleveland, and would be facing in NY if he were to come here.

  57. Wild Speculation: Any chance Kerr told Phil he’d be willing to coach the NYK next season but only if he’s allowed to implement an offensive system with Triangle-like features?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AH AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    DUDE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT THE HECK IS THIS TAKE

  58. Ugh, Phil said it was “Not paramount, but important” the next coach runs the triangle and has a relationship with him. Rambis is coach for the rest of the season.

  59. I think Blatt is a good coach and deserves to be a head coach in this league. But I feel he needs a situation like Stevens in Boston, or the Philly or Brooklyn job, where he can overachieve in a building situation, rather than the unreal expectations he faced in Cleveland, and would be facing in NY if he were to come here.

    Yeah, terrible fit.

  60. If Phil did want Luke, Kerr should let him go now. Let’s not forget Phil did right by Steve letting him back out of a commitment to be our coach when the Warriors gig opened up. It would seem this would be the optimal way to repay him for that.

  61. Jackson made a point to specifically say that they won’t be trading Melo.

    And that they’ll be looking to “improve the team” at the deadline.

    So much for selling…

  62. Yeah…not the most optmistic press conference. Jackson did say that it was totally his and Mills’ decision to dump Fisher, so I guess he really did change his style. Interesting.

  63. and Knicks in 60 is on and wow, Clyde really is such a great announcer.

    I grew up listening to Clyde on the FAN. He’s basically the best thing about being a Knicks fan. And I think that’s been true for the last 15 years.

  64. I grew up listening to Clyde on the fan. He’s basically the best thing about being a Knicks fan. And I think that’s been true for the last 15 years.

    For a while there, the Knicks had Marv Albert/John Andariese on MSG and Mike Breen/Clyde Frazier on the FAN (and then briefly had Frazier and Andariese switch). Wow, could anything beat those pairings?

  65. We are in a tough spot with Rambis.

    If he wins, Phil might reward him with a job next season
    If he loses, the pick we don’t have improves.

    I might overlook a good pick to secure Rambis not being our Headcoach next year.

  66. One coach that Jackson should consider is Monte Williams. Last season the Pelicans did great in a tough conference but it was mostly attributed to their personnel, particularly Anthony Davis. The Pelicans fired him despite his overachieving preseason expectations for 2014-2015 and making the Western conference playoffs. Now the Pelicans record is much worse, and I am not sure that’s all injury driven. He seems to have the respect of a lot of the NBA coaching establishment because he is an assistant coach for the USA 2016 Olympic team and was hired by Oklahoma as associate head coach after being fired by the Pelicans. He’s only 38, players seemed to like him and play hard for him.

  67. what’s an uninspired coach?

    Guy who doesn’t hurt you but doesn’t really help you, either. Sort of a placeholder. Brian Hill and Bob Hill are the guys I always think about when I think of uninspired coaches. They both coached really good teams at different points in their careers, but did anyone think that their team’s success was due to them? Neither of them got many opportunities after getting fired, ya know?

  68. I don’t get this at all. Why hire a coach with no experience and fire him after less than two years? Especially when one of those years featured a dumpster fire roster?

  69. I don’t get this at all. Why hire a coach with no experience and fire him after less than two years? Especially when one of those years featured a dumpster fire roster?

    There’s a chance that Jackson didn’t think the 2014-15 Knicks had a dumpster fire roster. After all, he specifically planned on that team being close to the #8 seed (hence him trading for an older point guard in the Chandler trade).

  70. Someone upthread referred to the Knicks as one of the premiere franchises in all of sports. Nobody really believes that anymore, do they? They haven’t been relative since the 90’s and even though I absolutely worshipped that version, they were second fiddle to Jordan’s Bulls.

    The atmosphere at the garden is a gross combination of corporate and touristy, and they have have an awful awful owner. Sure, players from other teams pay respect to the mecca that is (was) msg but that’s just lip service.

    This is an embarrassing franchise and to think otherwise is to believe the Oakland/LA/Oakland/LA Raiders are still a storied franchise.

  71. On Phil Jackson’s decision to relieve Fisher of coaching duties, I think it was his decision. Phil already showed last year that he could change strategy mid-season, when the results were enough to convince him the team wasn’t going where he wanted. I don’t think he’s wrong. Last year it became clear the team wouldn’t turn around, so he made the trades to start the tanking process. This year, we just had a number of games against middle of the pack NBA teams and lost almost all of them, putting ourselves probably on the outside of the playoffs. The streak was long enough to convince me we’re in trouble this season. I hope that Rambis or whoever is the new coach gets the normal new coach performance boost and we get back in the playoff race.

  72. One coach that Jackson should consider is Monte Williams.

    Plus, the Knicks drafted him.

    I like Williams. And he did a very good job in New Orleans.

    But, alas, he hasn’t got a protractor in his toolbox. So no Monte.

  73. But, alas, he hasn’t got a protractor in his toolbox. So no Monte.

    That does rankle, doesn’t it? “Oh, Coach X would be a great coa…oh, right, not a Triangle coach. Never mind.”

  74. “Look, they ridiculed Jesus Christ, so I’m certainly no exception,” Lue told Cleveland.com. “I don’t care what’s being said. I know how loyal I was to Coach Blatt, and the people that know me understand that. I have no control over what people think. I have a job to do and I’m going to do my best.”

    I think Lue and Fisher have the same person giving them advice on how to answer questions.

  75. makes me think of that Dylan line….

    “The man says, “Get out of here
    I’ll tear you limb from limb”
    I said, “You know they refused Jesus, too”
    He said, “You’re not Him”

  76. If Phil did want Luke, Kerr should let him go now. Let’s not forget Phil did right by Steve letting him back out of a commitment to be our coach when the Warriors gig opened up. It would seem this would be the optimal way to repay him for that.

    I think Kerr would do that 100%.

    Blatt had verbally committed to being Kerr’s assistant coach last summer, but when Cleveland asked to interview him, and subsequently hire him, Kerr encouraged him to seek the head job.

  77. Puzzling, since the Knicks are doing about as well as expected. My WAGs: Either Jackson is seizing the opportunity presented by a losing stretch to replace Fisher with someone he’s coveted or Fisher has off-court issues. It would be a head scratcher if he’s being canned because he failed to meet expectations.

  78. I don’t even mind Rambis. He’s not a bad coach. He’s just an uninspired coach.

    C’mon now Brian. Rambis was 32-132 in two season in Minnesota. He consistently benched a young Kevin Love to give more minutes to Ryan Gomes…on a 15 win team. He was a horrible head coach.

  79. He was also 24-13 (and won a playoff series) with a Lakers team about to hire Phil Jackson. He’s not who I would want to coach the team, but he’s also not Brian Shaw.

  80. @92 @93
    I like Williams too.
    I doubt Jackson will restrict himself to triangle guys. There’s so few and they’re so weak and/or untested. I can see him considering it a plus if, all other things being equal, one guy has more triangle experience. I can’t see him using it as a litmus test and selecting a clearly inferior coach for that reason alone. If he did, that would be spectacularly frustrating and stupid IMO.

  81. He just said that he isn’t even planning on actively looking for a new coach, since he has faith in Rambis, whose only qualification as a head coach is that he knows the Triangle.

    So I think he’s pretty clearly attached to the Triangle.

  82. The future of the team is Porzingis, not the triangle. Phil must be a ble to see that.

    Does Kareem still want to coach, or is he a full time author now?

    Has Patrick given up on coaching completely?

    Olajuwon ready to step out of consulting and onto a bench?

    Ralph Sampson was an assistant in Phoenix not long ago, right?

    Chuck Nevitt’s gotta have picked up something from Chuck Daly, no?

    Come on Phil. Think outside the triangular box!

  83. He just said that he isn’t even planning on actively looking for a new coach, since he has faith in Rambis, whose only qualification as a head coach is that he knows the Triangle.

    So I think he’s pretty clearly attached to the Triangle.

    Maybe not.

    Don’t believe what Jackson tells the media. He may actually be looking for a new coach, but doesn’t want the distraction to hound the team while they’re still playing games.

  84. Shaw was Phil’s second choice after Kerr turned him down. There was even talk of offering compensation to Denver to let him out of his contract. If Phil wants a new coach midseason it will almost definitely be Shaw. We need to pray that he waits until the offseason and is convinced that Walton is the better guy.

    Although, will Walton even agree to run the Triangle? He’ll have multiple job offers. Why accept the one that mandates a certain style of play?

  85. Don’t believe what Jackson tells the media. He may actually be looking for a new coach, but doesn’t want the distraction to hound the team while they’re still playing games.

    But doesn’t it just make a ton of sense that they’re waiting for Walton?

  86. Although, will Walton even agree to run the Triangle? He’ll have multiple job offers. Why accept the one that mandates a certain style of play

    Because rea$on$$$$

  87. @108

    Yeah, if we can blow every other offer out of the water he may come. That’s true.

    Wonder how Dolan feels about paying Fish and Walton a combined $11 mil per year? Personally I’d love it, because it brings Dolan that much closer to bankruptcy.

  88. What are Walton’s qualifications? – “Probably better than Shaw”, “didn’t screw up as a temp on a championship team”, and “knows the triangle” – not impressed. Lets hope Jackson’s kind words for Rambis are just obligatory mediaspeak, and he’s pursing a plan to get someone significantly better than Rambis, Walton, or Shaw. If multiple restarts with weak or novice protege coaches is the price of having Jackson as Pres, that’ll just suck.

  89. Yo, if you want Luke Walton, remember that the only coaching he’s ever done is under a team that smashed their way through the playoffs last year, wrecked LeBron, and will probably hit 70 wins at minimum this year and would have with or without him. Forget the Triangle.

    Thibodeau, please. I do not care about player health. Give me the defense.

    Okay, unless Walton says he’s going to implement Kerr’s philosophy in NY. Then I’m fine with Walton.

    Edit: @111 yes exactly

  90. regardless of whether he implements the triangle, can we at least make sure the new coach hires Fisher’s tailor?

  91. I’m sure Rambis will be fine.

    We’ve been kvetching all year long about how terrible Fisher was with rotations and with late-game tactics. Rambis can’t be worse, can he? (meanwhile, if we’re disheartened at the awful execution and rotation management, how bad must it be for Phil, one of the greatest coaches in any sport ever?)

    they’ll be some amount of dead coach bounce and the schedule is pretty light for a bit. we won’t make the playoffs but maybe it’ll at least be entertaining.

    I think the most important thing would be for Melo to either not play the ASG or really cut down his minutes in it, then to really rest that knee.

  92. Was Walton even really considered a head coaching candidate before this year? I don’t think so right? Granted 35-2 is undeniably a tidy record, but taking a perfect team and keeping it perfect is a pretty different task from taking a bad team and making it good. That’s obviously not to say he can’t do it. I just don’t think it’s a no doubt, slam dunk hire.

  93. I think the most important thing would be for Melo to either not play the ASG or really cut down his minutes in it, then to really rest that knee.

    I like how it’s not even a question to Melo that he should maybe rest for the ASG.

  94. There is absolutely no guarantee that Walton will be good. But GS didn’t miss a beat with him as coach, so he at least took nothing off the table. Look how that compares to the alternatives.

    Shaw — Stunk it up in Denver, alienated all his players (who quit on him), and got terrible reviews as an X and O guy

    Rambis — has had multiple chances and managed to compile one of the worst records ever.

    That’s it, right? Phil is only hiring a Triangle guy. Out of those three choices, Walton’s record of not doing harm makes him far and away the best available.

  95. Fisher’s firing is the #5 story on ESPN right now behind the Super Bowl (fair enough) but then:

    WR Cooper released by Eagles after 6 seasons
    Delmon Young charged in choking of Miami valet
    Villanova No. 1 in AP hoops poll for first time

    Weird.

  96. The Knicks can still make the playoffs and teams often will have a new coach win bump happen. Knicks were 7 games under 500 when Dantoni quit/was forced out. A new coach, some simple adjustments with the rotation, Melo playing well and the Knicks closed out that season 18-6. It happens a lot and Phil might have seen that the players were not responding to Fisher anymore.

  97. I think we need a coach that promotes ball movement more than anything else. I’m not as big on the defensive side because we have two really good interior defenders in Lopez and Porzingis. But if you could get Thib’s defense with some of Phil’s offensive principles, I think you have to take it. I don’t like Thib’s reputation with player injury because Rose and Noah played their hardest for him and look at how their bodies are holding up. I don’t want to see Melo on the court for 38 minutes a night at age 32. Thibs scares me, so I’d prefer another coach. I really want us to land the guy who becomes the next Rick Carlisle, Brad Stevens, or Mike Budenholzer. Is that Luke Walton? Maybe. It helps that he’s both the hottest head coaching commodity and apart of the triangle bloodline. Golden State is a powerhouse on both ends, and Walton is very young, so he could very well be the right guy for the job. We’ll have to see, but I’m hoping for Luke Walton.

  98. This also may be a message to the team: You’re accountable and this shit must stop.
    The players deserve blame for the slow starts as well. Their energy is down at the start. Clearly they can ratchet up and play better, as they have shown.
    So, you fire the coach to send a message to the team.

    In the end, it may have been too soon for Fisher to become a coach. He was making player mistakes with women, with the press and with the players.

  99. I just don’t see Thibs happening at all. Not a Triangle guy, not a Phil guy, clashed with management in Chicago, has beef with Dolan.

    Even if he was, I’d prefer Walton. Thibs had three horses in Chicago: Noah, Deng, Rose. All three are prematurely diminished because of injury. He’d have Melo playing 40 mpg this March when the team is 10 games out of a playoff spot, and then Melo’s leg would fall off and his contract would be Amare all over again.

  100. Wow. Shocked that it happened this quickly, but not that it happened at all. I thought it would be in the offseason. One thing’s for sure, the team is gonna suck for the rest of the season with Rambis leading the charge- unless he’s greatly improved as a coach. I agree with Garson, Phil should move to hire his next coach ASAP, even if it means total turnover of the staff midseason. His next move has to be his best move. Whether it’s a Melo trade or a great hire, or both. With Fisher in place, the team could talk about playoffs. With him gone, I think it’s clearer than ever that the team is 100% in rebuild mode. Good thing we have a Porzingis. As far as prospective new coaches, I like Walton a lot. If sticking with Phil’s tried and true system and environment is the plan and Walton becomes the next HC, he’s gonna need an established assistant next to him- one better than Rambis. I was never a fan of that particular hire with Cleamons already on board. I do wonder if Fisher wasn’t given full say over his staff because I see no need for Cleamons and Rambis. One would have been fine. That being said, it’s likely that Fisher’s firing has more to do with a clash of philosophies than the record or current string of bad play. I think Fish really wanted to be his own man, and Phil wanted more of a situation where he could coach vicariously through someone. A puppet. Think about it. Isn’t Keefe and Hazzard indicative of Fisher wants? Unfortunately his experience and voice is never gonna be stronger than Phil’s. So unless the team ends up with a Popovich, Spoelstra, Rivers, Carlisle, or even a Thibs somehow, Phil’s gonna always get what he wants. Let’s not forget just how stubborn and proud Phil is. I’m not saying that to bash him at all. I’m all for Phil’s vision for how he wants to build a team. I do wish he would be a little more flexible though. Why not give Shaka Smith a try? Walton won’t be free for some time and he’s no guarantee to be NYK HC anyway

  101. Oh great! Now that I’m going to leave on another cruise I’m going to miss the Knicks guaranteed new coach winning streak. Wonderful!

  102. I like Walton over Fisher because he’s actually gone through the coaching ranks more conventionally than Fish did. He’s also more removed from his playing career than Fisher was (i.e. being plucked directly from playing to head-coaching an NBA team). Here’s Walton’s coaching experience from his Wikipedia page:

    Walton’s first coaching experience was with the University of Memphis, which hired Walton as an assistant coach during the 2011 NBA lockout.[7] Hired August 22, 2011, his employment there lasted for the duration of the lockout.

    Following his retirement Walton was hired as a player development coach by the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, joining the team in November 2013 for the 2013–14 season.[8]

    The following year Walton became an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Said Walton, “We are gonna run parts of the triangle offense, and I know that thing front and back.” Walton joined the Warrior staff July 3, 2014.[2] The Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to give Walton his third NBA championship and first as a coach.

    In October 2015 Walton was appointed as the Warriors interim head coach when Steve Kerr took an indefinite leave of absence to rehabilitate his back that had been bothering him after the NBA Finals.

  103. Why, exactly, did Phil offer 5 years $25,000,000. That is top dollar for coaching, and Fisher had, obviously, no experience. Was he bidding against another team?

    Or maybe, as reported back at the time, the contract was incentive laden, and maybe there was an early termination option if he wasn’t “developing” as a coach?

    It just seems weird that Phil would justgive up after 1.5 years.

  104. So I think I just read an article that said that Fish is gonna collect a fair amount less than his contract value given the incentive structure and whatnot

    Cant find the link though

  105. Honestly, I think they believe this team can make the eighth seed, which means more team revenue from the playoffs, etc., and they wanted to nip this before it grew into a full-fledged swoon.
    You stop the bleeding here, this team could turn around and upset some teams.

  106. Every time the Knicks have an opening at head coach I pray they somehow re-hire JVG. I know it will never happen but one can dream…

  107. Reports have the Fish guarantee at 4/$17m and say he is due the rest of this year plus 2 years $8.5m total.

  108. fish was making some progress although i wish he made some better decisions with the rotations… the damage has already been done though and i doubt we make the playoffs this year…

    i’m not sure who would be a good fit… shaw might be one for this team… he wasn’t that great in denver but they had a bunch of knuckleheads running it…. thibs isn’t the right guy and i doubt walton is also….

    this smells of a dolan firing….

  109. Is the circus back in town? Odd timing, the lateral move of Rambis for the rest of the year, rumors of not listening to assistant coaches (which smacks to me of possible backstabbing, though), possible womanizing, ego, etc. I don’t buy the “lost the team” stuff. That’s said all the time, a cliche.

    Phil, please punt! Unless Rambis stuns us all, the season is probably lost. Sell!

  110. Uh oh. Woj reporting that among the reasons Fish was fired was that he got too far away from the Triangle. That means Phil is even less flexible than we thought.

  111. @133 Fish also got too far away from winning basketball games and making the playoffs

    It’s a bit shortsighted of me, but I just want to snap the losing streak right now. I’m tired of watching furious comeback attempts that fall short. (yeah yeah inb4 “well how about blowout losses/different ways of losing”)

    And as Brian Cronin wisely reminds us, the most important thing this season is KP’s development. Everything else is gravy.

    I’m hoping for the standard observed uptick in player effort after a coach is fired. Then crossing my fingers and hoping for Luke Walton.

  112. Also if the Knicks were 10 games above .500, I don’t see Fisher getting fired even if he was doing mindless George Karl run and gun basketball.

  113. Uh oh. Woj reporting that among the reasons Fish was fired was that he got too far away from the Triangle. That means Phil is even less flexible than we thought.

    In the press conference Phil talked a couple of times about not enough ball movement and too much iso at the end of games. I guess that could mean too far from the triangle but it’s not wrong either way. He also mentioned slow starts a couple of times and once said Fisher wasn’t taking advice from more experienced coaches around him. Paints a picture of a young coach who isn’t progressing which matches up with what we’ve seen.

  114. On a side note, I’d like to read Chris Herring’s midseason report card, but it’s behind the WSJ’s paywall. Does anyone know how a guy can read a thing?

  115. Steve Kerr career arc: 2014-2015 first head coaching job, wins championship, now has a dynasty in the making

    Derek Fisher career arc: 2014-2015 first head coaching job, 17 wins, fired in 2016, may never be a head coach again

  116. The Knicks have a very advantageous April schedule. They should be favored in five of the six games, with only the final game (@Indiana) looking tough. And, if the Pacers have nothing to play for, they may rest their rotation players.

    So, if the Knicks end March at 32 – 44, they could still find their way to the playoffs.

  117. He said only a couple of players were off the table for trades and they were open to discussions but that they didn’t have much in the way of tradeable assests. Also talked about having a strong core, and wanting that one great free agent. So same story there basically.

  118. Also talked about having a strong core, and wanting that one great free agent. So same story there basically.

    He really doesn’t seem to have a realistic view of how good his team is.

  119. I don’t understand the issue here Knicks fans have with the firing. We lose nothing by getting rid of him. It was well established that Rambis and Clemens were running that team and Fisher was just there to give motivational speeches. I’d rather fire him sooner than later.

  120. It was well established that Rambis and Clemens were running that team and Fisher was just there to give motivational speeches.

    Was it? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it didn’t appear obvious to me that that was the case. Source?

  121. He really doesn’t seem to have a realistic view of how good his team is.

    This has been my biggest concern with Phil pretty much since Day 1. He seems to really have the mentality that any team can win big if we can just get everyone to buy into the triangle, and sacrifice for each other and work together and maybe get some sort 80s style training montage where scenes of practice are intercut with all the players becoming best buddies off the court. That’s a natural mentality for a coach to have, and maybe moreso when throughout your career people have downplayed your coaching accomplishments by saying you just had the best players.

    But it’s really, really, really important for an executive to be realistic about his teams chances. The difference between the appropriate actions for a team that’s one player away to be taking (what Phil thinks we are) versus a team that has basically two to three keepers on the entire roster (what we actually are) is astronomical. It’s night and day. I get that Phil’s job is partially PR and he wants to put on a brave face, but I get more worried all the time that he really believes this team is close to where it needs to be talent wise.

  122. Are we we really still talking about the playoffs? It’s going to take probably 43 wins to get in, so the Knicks would have to close the season on a 20 and 8 run. Even if Melo’s knee gets healthy real fast, that’s a real giant long shot.

  123. Was it? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it didn’t appear obvious to me that that was the case. Source?

    From back in October 14, 2014.

    As associate coach, Kurt Rambis has aided rookie Derek Fisher in writing up practice plans, selecting training-camp offensive and defensive drills and often giving a discourse in triangle amid their marathon practices. But Rambis, a former Knicks draft pick, hopes his biggest help to Fisher is getting him to cope with the pressures of coaching in New York.

    “I’m giving him countless suggestions, even how to monitor his time,’’ Rambis told The Post in his first interview since his July hire. “Even something as small as making sure he works out. It’s important for all head coaches to find that stretch of time. Because the job is very consuming and becomes an obsession. Derek is a perfectionist, constantly thinking about the game. He did it as a player and it’s worse when you become a head coach. I want him to find time to do it.’’

    Rambis was a key offseason hire to ensure Fisher’s smooth transition from player to head coach. His presence relating to Fisher can be seen as vital as president Phil Jackson, who has been surprisingly hands-off and hasn’t traveled to any of the three road preseason games.

  124. Say what you want about this team but Phil is right, they’ve underperformed in many games. The Knicks may not be a playoff contender but they should have a better record than 8 games under .500. We’ve been close in most games this season and Phil is right to point out that poor play either starting the game or closing it out has held it back throughout the season. That’s a reflection of poor preparation, rotations, and play design. This falls on the coach.

  125. So it’s well established that his assistants were running the team because in an article from before he ever coached his first game one of his assistant coaches said that he helped (you might even say assisted) in coaching the team. C’mon man. That’s some extraordinarily weak sauce you’re peddling there.

  126. Say what you want about this team but Phil is right, they’ve underperformed in many games. The Knicks may not be a playoff contender but they should have a better record than 8 games under .500. We’ve been close in most games this season and Phil is right to point out that poor play either starting the game or closing it out. That’s a reflection of poor preparation, rotations, and play design via poor coaching.

    But according to you the guy we just put in charge was actually the one doing all the bad coaching lol.

  127. 1.

    So it’s well established that his assistants were running the team because in an article from before he ever coached his first game one of his assistant coaches said that he did helped (you might even say assisted) in coaching the team.

    Read between the lines. Rambis practically implemented the team’s entire scheme from the moment Fisher was hired.

    Writing up practice plans, selecting training-camp offensive and defensive drills and often giving a discourse in triangle amid their marathon practices.

    2.

    But according to you the guy we just put in charge was actually the one doing all the bad coaching lol.

    If the implication in your post is that I think Rambis is a good head coach then you’re mistaken. I am just telling you that we lose nothing by having him assume the title of head coach since he was the one with the technical expertise on the team. At best we can hope that some of the whack rotations we’ve seen will be stopped.

  128. Lets be clear here. What exactly did Derek Fisher bring to this team? He had no coaching experience. In terms of technical coaching knowledge he was outranked by far more experienced coaches like Rambis and Clemens who were hired, according to Phil in his latest interview, as resources for Fisher to draw upon. At best, we could say Fisher’s forte was the respect and status he accumulated as a winning basketball player familiar with Jackson’s Triangle system – a status that was comprised after the Barnes fiasco.

    I don’t see the point of having him on this team anymore. We gain nothing by having him here and lose nothing in firing him.

  129. I saw Scott Brooks name thrown out there as a possible hiring. Not particularly fussed by him, but he had a good record with OKC, and was pretty well liked. I think he was more a players coach though rather than an X’s and O’s savant, so I am not sure that’s what we want.

  130. Are we we really still talking about the playoffs?

    *Jim Mora voice*

    Playoffs? Playoffs??!!

    When we hit the halfway point I thought we had a realistic shot at the 8th seed. I didn’t think we’d make it, but I thought we could keep in the hunt down to the last couple weeks. Now? No way.

  131. The biggest problem with focusing on the coach is that we lose focus of the players. Those of us here that never quite joined the Fire Fisher camp (even if we didn’t think he was particularly good at his job) are more of the opinion that the roster and the players need to improve before we make any real sort of gain in the standings. Until that happens, it really doesn’t matter who the coach is. I mean, sure we’d probably be a few less games under .500 and still scratching at the edges of the playoffs (which would be better than being out of the race entirely, to be sure), but no head coach is taking this team anywhere until we have better players.

    When it comes to winning basketball Players>Coaching. Does coaching matter? Sure, but never enough to tip the scales when you have little to no talent.

  132. Say what you want about this team but Phil is right, they’ve underperformed in many games. The Knicks may not be a playoff contender but they should have a better record than 8 games under .500.

    B-ref has our expected record as 23-31. Maybe with better coaching we’d be like 5 games under .500? The team isn’t exactly loaded with talent.

  133. B-ref is good for understanding causal outcomes but worthless for assessing process. We’ve played too many games where we’ve had fourth quarter leads only to lose due to a poor combination of rotation and play design. I’d rather deal with these problems endemic to Fisher’s coaching sooner rather than later.

  134. The biggest problem with focusing on the coach is that we lose focus of the players.

    To me its not an either/or issue. The real question, as I see it, is whether or not one thinks Fisher is ever going to improve. If Phil felt that he simply wasn’t getting it, then there was no point in wasting everyone’s time waiting for him to become something he wasn’t going to be. Its the same reason why I believe trading Melo is inevitable. If one doesn’t believe we’re ever going to contend while he’s still an impact player like I do, then there’s no point biding time for a championship run that will never happen. We’re better off trading him once KP is ready to assume a greater responsibility of carrying the team so we can build around the latter and move forward towards concrete and feasible goal. Enough with the half-measures.

  135. Well said, Ras1980! Now that Fisher’s gone the team can get better going forward. They mostly played hard for him but that’s about all I can say about his coaching acumen. I wish him well.

  136. From the Daily News (Stefan Bondy)

    “I was able to surround (Fisher) with some very experienced coaches, and he had support staff, that was really important too. If he didn’t take advantage of it, maybe that’s part of it, too,” Jackson said. “Kurt (Rambis), Jim Cleamons, some of the guys that have experienced, detailed experience. Derek hired some young guys who have helped him, have great work ethic and kind of meet the standard that he likes. But there wasn’t a consensus in our staff and we decided we needed to have a real good consensus in our staff, interchanging of ideas and communication.”…

    Jackson portrayed his interactions with Fisher as terse and basic, clearly not what he envisioned when declaring before the season that he’d be more involved. Jackson referenced one particular game as a turning point — a loss in Brooklyn on Jan. 13 – when he broke down film with Fisher, reached conclusions and then watched as the Knicks failed to implement those lessons.

    If you read between the lines here– it sounds very much like Fisher wasn’t doing what Phil wanted him to do. Rambis+Cleamons are old triangle guys and the “young guys” were almost certainly the ones pushing Fisher to run more PNR stuff. And having no consensus = Rambis+Cleamons want to double down on Triangle, and Fisher and “young guys” want to run a more “modern” offense.

    Wow this does not feel good.

    Question is – when we were playing so well in January — were we running mostly Triangle or a hybrid offense? I can’t even remember those good times anymore.

  137. If you read between the lines here– it sounds very much like Fisher wasn’t doing what Phil wanted him to do. Rambis+Cleamons are old triangle guys and the “young guys” were almost certainly the ones pushing Fisher to run more PNR stuff. And having no consensus = Rambis+Cleamons want to double down on Triangle, and Fisher and “young guys” want to run a more “modern” offense.

    Wow this does not feel good.

    That certainly seems like the most likely scenario and…yeah.

  138. I’ll give the triangle credit, the ball movement has been good when they run it. Melo has been a leader. I don’t think either of those will stop. Our problem is everyone is shooting terrible and has been the whole year on open shots and our guards can’t defend for shit. Until we can hit open shots and play defense, this is our team.

  139. Rambis+Cleamons are old triangle guys and the “young guys” were almost certainly the ones pushing Fisher to run more PNR stuff.

    It could be me but I didn’t read Phil’s comments as indicating this when I saw the press conference. I felt his big problem was the offense’s reliance on isolation basketball, particularly down the stretch.

  140. When we were at .500 a month ago, it was because we had an intact, healthy rotation (especially Melo) to that point. I truly believe that this team was playing about as well as they could have under any coach that was committed to not burning out Melo, Porzingis, or Calderon.

    I agree with Bondy’s assessment that the Nets game was the first truly troubling one. However, it was the double overtime game vs. the Sixers that might have torpedoed the team. You could argue that it was Fisher’s coaching that let the Sixers get back into that game, and that only by running Melo into the ground was he able to salvage that game. But up to that time, the Knicks were exceeding just about everybody’s expectations.

    What I’m saying is that we are at best a .500 team, and a fragile one at that. As such, I didn’t have a problem with Fisher until recently, when the triangle seemed to stop working like it did earlier. But most of us know that the Triangle is dependent on having guys who can consistently score when the opportunity presents itself. Once Melo’s shot flattened out, Lance and Calderon got hurt and Zinger hit the wall, we became overly dependent on guys who are woefully inconsistent: Afflalo, Galloway and Williams. No coach in history could do much with that hand being dealt to him.

    So on one hand, I think that Fisher got about as much as could be expected out of this team, mainly by his personnel decisions. He boiled out the best possible rotation and managed minutes well, rightfully benching O’Quinn, Seraphin, Vujacic and Early; rightfully playing Lance, D-Will, and Grant.

    He was not great at managing end-of-game situations.

    And lately, the team looked out of it, especially in the first quarter of games.

    But the bigger problem for me is that the triangle will not work with this team unless it is nearly 100% healthy. The question is, who is preventing the team from diversifying its offense? I doubt that it was Fisher.

  141. Phil was right to be concerned about isolation Basketball. We all noticed it. At the end of games when the Knicks needed a score it would Afflalo or Melo trying to score one on one.

  142. I am not as negative as you guys. I read what Jackson and Rambis said as Fischer wouldn’t listen to the consensus opinion of Jackson, Rambis and Cleamons.

    I think Jackson hated all the Iso stuff at the end of games whether it be Melo or Aflalol. He wants them to run their offense as a default position with ball movement fostering the best shot.

    The end game substitutions yesterday were ludicrous. With 6:20 left in the game Mudiay entered the game with the Knicks up two and immediately canned a 20 footer and a 24 footer. Fischer called time out. His solution was taking his best front court and back court defender out!!!

    His reaction should have been if the absolute worst shooter in the league wants to hoist up 24 foot bombs, please help him do it. But noooooooo Fischer puts Calderon AND Sasha in the game, maybe the two worst on the ball defenders in the league to keep an uber athletic 19 year old with a linebacker’s body out of the paint and removed Lopez, his last line of defense virtually begging Mudiay to stop shooting from distance and drive to the rim. Inconceivable!!!

    Mudiay got to the rim twice and good game , Knicks. Just abysmal strategy.

    I’m also guessing Jackson isn’t thrilled he uses Sasha over Grant after Jackson traded for him and needs to develop him. Sasha’s job is supposed to be to sit next to Grant when he is on the bench and explain to him the options of the triangle as it is being run on the floor. Than and garbage time, nothing else.

  143. Its kind of comical that people are holding Fisher up as a progressive innovator of PnR basketball against the old Triangle system when its clear he didn’t have a simple clue of how to draw up a play in games. We had KP working well on a pick and roll game in the third quarter until the offense went away from it in the fourth quarter, especially when Fisher substituted the two worse guards we could use for that purpose in the 4th with Calderon and Vujacic.

  144. I read somewhere too that Fisher did not conduct particularly good, rigorous practices.

    Who knows what combination of what we are hearing is true or just spin.

    Well, it Rambis’ chance to shine…

  145. Yeah, Fisher was definitely not a good coach. Pretty terrible, in fact.

    I have a feeling that Rambis is a placeholder who won’t do well, and we will hold out for Walton, who will snub us for the Lakers, and we will end up with Shaw.

  146. @174 – Ouch, that is a plausible and completely nauseating scenario you laid out.

    All I can can say is, I agree with most of the above:
    A little surprised he got fired now, but not too upset about it
    Treat Brian Shaw like he’s radioactive and
    A Big Fucking NO to ISAIAH

  147. Buddy Hield and I don’t think it’s very close. Hield plays basketball like he’s Dwyane Wade with Kyle Korver’s shooting touch. Hield is also an NBA athlete while Valentine just has good size (but bad athleticism and handle) for the position. Buddy Hield also has a legendary work ethic. After he scored his team’s last 12 points to beat Texas tonight, the broadcast team interviewed him. He had gotten to the gym at 8 or 9AM in the morning, he said. Hield shoots 500 shots a day, and after an off night like tonight(where he scored 27 points and the game winning three), he shoots closer to 700. I’m confident Hield will be an excellent pro because of his athleticism, handle, quick release on his jumper, and his poise. Tom Izzo calls Valentine the guard version of Draymond Green, but I’ve never seen a pro prospect like Hield. Fredette sucked in the NBA because he has a slow release and is an average athlete for a point guard. Hield is a good NBA athlete with an extremely fast release and he’s broken rules with how efficient he plays basketball. Give me Buddy Hield, please.

  148. Why would Jackson hire Isiah?

    (Only because that’s the first thing that goes through everybody’s mind when there’s a position open at MSG?)

  149. Rambis+Cleamons are old triangle guys

    Rambis and Cleamons have a combined .390% winning percentage as head coaches in the NBA (84-215).

  150. Which is actually significantly better than Fisher’s overall winning percentage of 0.294.

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