Turner Sports’ Reggie Miller and Marv Albert, two longtime observers of Knicks doings, weighed in Tuesday on the firing of coach Derek Fisher and the state of the franchise in general in response to a question from Newsday on a conference call to promote Sunday’s All-Star Game coverage.
“To see him get canned is unfortunate,” Miller said. “I understand it is a business, but it makes you scratch your head because you’ve got the coach with the best record in the Eastern Conference [the Cavaliers’ David Blatt] gets fired but yet the coach with the worst record [the 76ers’ Brett Brown] gets a two-year extension.
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“All these coaching firings, it just doesn’t make sense. Again, an owner and management, they have the right to run their organization any way they can, but it’s a bad light on the coaching profession the way they’re letting some of these coaches go 50 games into a season.
“I personally never thought the Knicks were going to make the playoffs anyway, so I don’t understand the objective of letting Fisher go now. I would like to see this: If you’re going to let coaches go, you have to start looking at some general managers and presidents, because they’re doing all the hiring of the coaches and they’re doing all the drafting.
“I would like to see more general managers be on the hot seat as well. Right now it looks like all the coaches are being put on the hot seat, but I think some general managers need to start looking in the mirror.”
Said Albert: “I thought Derek was in a very difficult situation. He had no previous experience. He took over a team with very little talent. Early in the season when the Knicks surpassed the 17 wins all of last year, they became overhyped in the New York area because people are just so anxious for things to come.
“But they basically are a team that consists of an All-Star in Carmelo [Anthony], who obviously now is having problems with the knee that underwent surgery, and a rookie in [Kristaps] Porzingis, who someday will be very good. But it’s a bunch of guys who really are backups.
“I thought Phil Jackson did a good job of getting to this point. But they lost nine of 10. Derek, as a player, was so different. In viewing him in press conferences, I thought he was always pretty good with us in talking to him before games. He changed. You could feel there was so much pressure on him. I don’t know if he was the same way with the players, but he’s a different guy. It’s so tough . . . I just hate to see it.”