After losing nine of their last 10 games, the New York Knicks have fired second-year head coach Derek Fisher on Monday, according to reports.
The Knicks have a 23-31 record this season after finishing with a 17-65 record in the 2014-2015 season. New York extended their losing streak to five games on Sunday in a home defeat to the Denver Nuggets, 101-96. The nine losses were by an average of 10.7 points, but six games were decided by eight points or less.
Fisher openly accepted responsibility for the squad's lack of readiness and lackluster play, and pointed out how the team consistently digs themselves in a hole.
"Again, we put ourselves in position where we're hoping every single thing is perfect at the end of the game when we're putting ourselves down by 10, 12, 15, 18 points to start," Fisher said after the loss to Denver.
Shooting has been a big reason for New York's struggles this season. The Knicks are No. 24 in shooting percentage (43.7), No. 25 in 3-point shooting (33.5 percent) and No. 27 in adjusted field-goal percentage (47.9). However, the Knicks lead the NBA in free-throw percentage (80.8).
Fisher, 41, was hired as part of team president Phil Jackson's makeover of the franchise and made his debut without any coaching experience. The former point guard spent much of his career playing in Jackson's triangle offense with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships over the course of a decade.
Assistant Kurt Rambis will serve as interim coach. Rambis was an assistant under Jackson in Los Angeles, and played for the Lakers in the Showtime Era. He previously served as head coach of the Lakers before Jackson's arrival in the 1999-2000 season. Rambis also was the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons.
According to ESPN, Brian Shaw and Luke Walton, who both played for Jackson with the Lakers, are considered top candidates for the full-time position. Walton currently serves as the Golden State Warriors assistant coach, and temporarily replaced head coach Steve Kerr, who was on a leave of absence for much of the first half of the season. The Warriors owned a 39-4 record under Walton, and have a 74-15 record under Kerr.
Shaw most recently served as the Nuggets head coach. He was fired in March, in less than two seasons, after a 56-85 record.
The Knicks' next game is at home against the Washington Wizards.