GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Derek Fisher had just finished a long playing career when Phil Jackson picked him to coach the New York Knicks. Just 1½ seasons later, Jackson decided he needed someone else.
Fisher was fired Monday, with his team having lost five in a row and nine of 10.
"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," Jackson said at the team's practice facility.
Associate head coach Kurt Rambis was promoted to interim head coach. Rambis, like Fisher an ex-Lakers player and a former assistant under Jackson, is 56-145 as an NBA coach, including 32-132 in two seasons with the Timberwolves.
The Knicks are to 23-31, dropping Fisher's overall record to 40-96. Jackson hired Fisher in June 2014, just weeks after Fisher was done playing.
"It's a huge transition from being a player to a coach at any point in time, let alone the season after you retire from playing. So it was a very difficult situation, regardless of where he coached," Rambis said.
The Knicks went 17-65 last season but upgraded their roster during the summer with the drafting of Kristaps Porzingis and the signing of veterans Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez.
Fisher then got off to an embarrassing start this season during training camp. He was involved in a fight with Memphis forward and former teammate Matt Barnes when he was at the home of Barnes' estranged wife in California.