Knicks President Phil Jackson announced Monday that they had severed ties with coach Derek Fisher. Fisher, who spent about a year and a half as head coach, amassed a record of 40-96. Assistant coach Kurt Rambis will be promoted to interim head coach and finish out the season, per Jackson.
“This was my decision,” Jackson told reporters. “We’re in the business of winning.”
Rambis has coached 201 games in his career and a 56-145 record to show for it. He did, however, spend 12 seasons as an assistant coach with the Lakers, including their championship seasons of 2002 and 2009. His two full seasons at head coach came with the Minnesota Timberwolves and, well, he did about as well as he could with those teams.
While in LA, Rambis was an assistant to Phil Jackson, meaning he has familiarity with the triangle offense. Jackson is adamant about the next coach having an understanding of the offense. “It’s not paramount, but it’s important,” Jackson said.
The Knicks have faltered lately and sit five games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They’ve struggled at times this year, but just a few short weeks ago we were talking about the Knicks as a playoff team as they held a 22-22 record on Jan. 20th. Since then, however, the Knicks struggles have ballooned, and they’ve dropped nine of their last 10, including their last five in a row.
Carmelo Anthony has struggled with knee problems, and the Knicks have a hard time manufacturing offense. On the bright side, rookie Kristaps Porzingis has shattered expectations and is looking like a great piece for the Knicks to build around. The Zinger is averaging 13.8 points, 7.7 rebounds & 1.9 blocks per game and is battling Karl-Anthony Towns for Rookie of the Year honors.
*Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference*
*Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman / AP Photo*