Fisher, 41, was 40-96 in his season-and-a-half on the Knicks bench. He'll be replaced by Kurt Rambis, a longtime Phil Jackson confidante who previously served as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Respected NBA gambler Haralabos Voulgaris offered this, um, candid assessment of Rambis' coaching bona fides:
Kurt Rambis in Minnesota was the worst head coach I've ever seen. True story.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) February 8, 2016
Adding credence to Voulgaris' take was HBO's Bill Simmons, who mixed candor with concerning statistics:
Kurt Rambis - nice guy but wow. Wasn't his Minnesota performance one of the single worst 21st century NBA coaching jobs? I'm so confused.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 8, 2016
In the 2010 season, Kurt Rambis gave Ryan Gomes more MPG than Kevin Love on a 15-win team. So... good luck NYK fans? https://t.co/CC5byHGrZs— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 8, 2016
As with all things on earth, it did not take long for Crying Jordan to get involved:
Rodger Sherman of SB Nation perhaps put Fisher's tenure—and the Knicks' organizational philosophy as a whole—best:
I don't know why the Knicks hired Derek Fisher or why they fired Derek Fisher.— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) February 8, 2016
Fisher's hiring was controversial from the beginning. He was brought in directly after his retirement from playing and given the security of a five-year, $25 million contract. The Knicks floundered in his first season, going 17-65 as Fisher looked overmatched on the bench.
While they've already eclipsed that win total before the All-Star break, the recent downturn was enough to seal Fisher's fate. Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports wasn't onboard with Fisher's firing:
I mean, I get the losing streak. But man, I thought Fisher had shown some pretty real growth as a coach year over year.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) February 8, 2016
That said, it's possible some of Fisher's antics played a part in his unceremonious exit. He was involved in an off-court altercation with Matt Barnes that resulted in the Memphis Grizzlies forward serving a two-game suspension for an alleged assault. Barnes has since made a number of public comments on the incident, leading some to wonder if he'd bask in Fisher's ouster:
*furiously refreshing matt barnes' instagram page*— alex (@steven_lebron) February 8, 2016
Is Matt Barnes available for comment?— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) February 8, 2016
Poor record. Off the court incidents. And I do believe the Matt Barnes ex wife drama played a significant role in Fishers firing.— Cari Champion (@CariChampion) February 8, 2016
It didn't take long for Barnes to post a reaction photo on his Instagram page following the announcement:
Of course, the man responsible for hiring Fisher in the first place was Jackson, the $60 million Knicks president. Minus the selection of Kristaps Porzingis, nearly every decision Jackson's made since his arrival has either backfired or been met with tepid responses.
Ben Detrick of the New York Times offered his ugly tree-related thoughts:
behold, the phil jackson coaching tree and all its glorious bounty pic.twitter.com/MVn0XDwDG6— Ben Detrick (@bdetrick) February 8, 2016
Speaking of amusing Phil-related thoughts, here are a few tweets—tongue-in-cheek and otherwise—regarding a potential new target:
james dolan and phil jackson gonna prank call patrick ewing re: a coaching job and hang up snickering— Desus Nice (@desusnice) February 8, 2016
Lately Knicks have been running triangle for 1st half & PnR in 2nd after falling behind. If Phil did this for more triangle I'm gonna flip.— Bryan Gibberman (@Gibberman10) February 8, 2016
brian shaw should have to go overseas after this https://t.co/sUD6sjeaai— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) February 8, 2016
Guys… I just had a vision… of Luke Walton… this summer... pic.twitter.com/TQcmL1uOxN— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 8, 2016
Also, Dennis Rodman would like an interview:
Sure, Dennis. Sure.
Wait, on second thought...let's do this. The Knicks are already hiring Rambis, who by all accounts is one of the worst head coaches of this century. How much worse could things really get if the Knicks went full crazy and hired Rodman?
Quickly imagines what Rodman would do to Porzingis.
OK, never mind. First instinct was right. Let's keep Rodman off the bench and as far away from the national treasure Kristaps as possible.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter