NBA

Derek Fisher.

Fired Knicks coach Derek Fisher has denied the rumours surrounding his departure

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Derek Fisher was fired as the head coach of the New York Knicks back on February 8, 2016, and despite a less than impressive record in the Big Apple, rumours that the former five-time NBA Champion may have been dismissed because of his personal life persist to cloud his departure.

While anything to do with the 41-year-old's private life may be purely speculative, his results at Madison Square Garden were certainly conclusive and it wasn't pretty.

Fisher led the Knicks to their worst record in franchise history in his first season in charge as they finished dead-last in the Eastern Conference with 65 losses. After managing to break at .500 to start this season 22-22, the Knicks plummetted to win only one of their next ten and Fisher received his marching orders accordingly.

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But, the former longtime L.A Laker - where he developed the strong bond with then-coach, now-Knicks president Phil Jackson that would take him to New York - has spoken publicly about the reasons for his firing and dismisses the rumours surrounding his character.

"I want to let people know that you can't just make things up and get away with it," Fisher said. "Let's address this idea that I lost my job because of certain 'character' or 'integrity' issues. Not only is any such insinuation untrue, it's downright offensive."

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The former guard - who only wrapped up his playing days with the Oklahoma Thunder in 2014 - also spoke about how it was all business when he was informed he would be relieved of his duties.

Fisher said: "When the organisation informed me of its decision, the conversation was short. The underlying message was that things weren't working out the way they had hoped.

"At no time did anyone at that meeting express to me that stories about my personal life were distracting from the collective task at hand, or  -  more important  - that any of my players had expressed to management that they had lost confidence in me as their coach. Nothing remotely like that was ever brought up or discussed."

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks

Given the results, it's fair to assume what Fisher is saying is accurate. For large parts of his tenure in New York, Fisher had to deal without his franchise superstar, Carmelo Anthony, as he underwent knee surgery and had ongoing knee issues that trouble him to this day.

Jackson also gutted a lot of Fisher's roster in January 2015 in an attempt to garner picks and kick-start a rebuild. It's difficult to gauge whether anyone could have done a better job under the circumstances, but Fisher asserts that although he failed the job at hand in his own eyes, his integrity remains intact.

"I know I'm not perfect," Fisher confessed. "I'm human and flawed. I've failed. I have shortcomings. Everybody does. That being said, I've been in the NBA and the public eye for 20 years.

"Plenty of people know me well, and they know my true character. I would not have been allowed to lead the teams I led without the character and integrity I possess."

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Atlantic Division
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony

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