The New York Knicks got the shock of their NBA season when the front office decided to fire Derek Fisher. While the rumors were rampant, the future of the former head coach had been initially thought to be secure. One of the signs was the continuous improvement of the Carmelo Anthony squad along with the notable growth of rookie Kristaps Porzingis. Moreover, the New York Knicks have surpassed the number of games they won last season only halfway this time.
"We were all surprised," admitted Anthony via the New York Post. He added, "This was something, I really don't know if it was a quick decision or if it was lingering. Nobody wants to lose their coach, especially some of the young guys. This is an experience they have to go through. For me, having to keep those guys intact, keep them in line, and let them know it happens. Unfortunately it's happening to us right now."
At the moment, no official reason has been provided by the New York Knicks. However, speculations are rife that Fisher lost the respect of the locker room when he got embroiled in a scandal involving Matt Barnes and the Memphis Grizzlies' star's ex-wife. Fisher and Barnes engaged in a physical altercation which later on cost the suspension of the latter. However, it looks like Fisher faced the heavier consequence.
"I haven't seen this coming, nobody seen this coming," Anthony further shared. He continued, "This was totally on the management, they made that decision. It's unfortunate but we have to move on from there."
Apart from the brawl against Barnes, the former New York Knicks head coach reportedly missed practices due to personal errands. Presumably, his absences from the training sessions weighed heavily on the minds of those in the front office. His inconsistent attendance might also have cost him his job eventually. However, his players remained loyal to him amid the speculations.
"I saw Coach right before he was leaving [and] I said goodbye to him," shared Porzingis via ESPN. The 20-year-old rookie added, "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."
Porzingis further said, "It has been a tough last few weeks obviously. Nobody is happy, everybody is kind of depressed that we are losing, but we are trying to stay positive at the same time, and now we lost our coach so a lot of stuff going on."
Meanwhile, a strong contender for the post vacated by Fisher is Tom Thibodeau. According to Ian O'Connor of ESPN New York, former Chicago Bulls coach is targeting the New York Knicks gig. The sports expert further noted that Thibodeau has been gunning for a post that will put him near Anthony since his days with Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose.
"Source close to Tom Thibodeau: "The #Knicks are the job he's always wanted. He would crawl to Madison Square Garden," disclosed O'Connor via social media. He added, "Tom Thibodeau is a big, big fan of Carmelo Anthony's. Thought he had him in free agency. Loved him w/ USA Basketball."