Sportress of Blogitude

Stan Van Gundy credits Knicks for handling of Derek Fisher firing


NBA head coaches typically get a bit defensive and critical when one of their own loses their job. And while Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy indicated he feels bad for Derek Fisher after he lost his job with the New York Knicks, he praised the organization for handling the situation the right way.

Specifically speaking, Van Gundy believes the way in which the Knicks cut Fisher loose without weeks and months of speculation prevented the usual way coaches are left twisting in the wind amid media scrutiny and endless conjecture.

I feel bad for Derek, but I’ll give them credit for one thing,” Van Gundy said on Monday, via the Detroit Free Press. “(It) was one of the few firings where we didn’t read any rumors, we weren’t going through the rumor mill. Derek didn’t have to deal with that, it came out of the blue.

“It probably (ticked) off the media in New York actually. They didn’t get a chance to speculate on it for weeks and things like that.

“To me, if you’re gonna do something like that, that’s the way it should be done. You’re going about your business as a united organization and you make a change, but it’s not the hot-seat thing, going back and forth. They didn’t make Derek deal with that — at least publicly.”

There had been whispers that Fisher’s job may be in jeopardy, especially after the team lost its fifth straight game and ninth out of its past 10 ahead of his firing Monday. but how quickly the Knicks decided to fire him and insert Kurt Rambis as interim coach certainly lacked the amount of discussion typical of a midseason coaching change.

Van Gundy’s reaction to Fisher’s dismissal stands in stark contrast to how he blasted the Cleveland Cavaliers for firing David Blatt in surprising manner a few weeks ago.

Then again, Blatt’s tenuous grasp on the Cavaliers head coaching position was the subject of rumors almost as soon as he got the job. In that respect, Van Gundy is definitely correct that the Knicks handled their business much differently.