The New York Knicks have fired head coach Derek Fisher, the team announced on Monday.
Coming off a franchise-worst 17-65 record in Fisher’s initial season last year, the struggling Knicks were 23-31 this season.
The team was in the midst of a five game losing streak, and had dropped nine of their last 10 games.
In less than two seasons as Knicks head coach Fisher had a dismal 40-96 record.
New York was at .500 (20-20) in early January and the rebuilding Knicks were dreaming of a possible playoff berth.
But then the team went into their recent tailspin, dashing high hopes for the season and ultimately sinking Fisher.
“It’s time for us to make a change, turn this team around and move forward and get some wins, and keep going down the road we had started here at the beginning of the year,” Knicks president Phil Jackson said at press conference yesterday.
“I know it’s a relief for him, taking away some of that stress from the job,” Jackson added. “[Fisher is] a person I have a long relationship with and care deeply about and hope for his success.”
Fisher, who won five NBA championships with the Lakers as a player under Jackson, thanked the team for the opportunity to guide the Knicks.
“This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed,” Fisher said via a statement. “Obviously, I’m disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it.”
But in truth, much of Knicks’ woes this season can be blamed on Jackson, who failed to attract any all-star caliber free agents to New York last summer despite having $27 million in cap space.
And Jackson’s fire sale trades last January giving away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert for nothing, while waiving their starting center Samuel Dalembert was a big reason for the lottery tanking Knicks’ 17-65 record last season.
Assistant Kurt Rambis was named as interim coach to replace Fisher.