TORONTO — Kevin Durant was “shocked” that Derek Fisher was fired by the Knicks and spoke to his former Thunder teammate to tell him he loves him.
Fisher had been seen as a strong link to recruit Durant when he becomes a free agent this summer. The Knicks have others, including Carmelo Anthony, who Durant said is “someone I looked up to my whole basketball life.”
Durant will have numerous suitors when he hits the market — including the Warriors, Wizards, Lakers and Nets — and it could be tough to pry him from Oklahoma City. He said stability is important to him. He has that with the Thunder, but he also believes he can be a stabilizing force.
“No matter what profession, you always want to be stable,” Durant said Friday at NBA All-Star Weekend. “You always want to have good people around you. And you always want to work with great people. That’s how it is in Oklahoma City . . . Sometimes you can put your spirit in and you can kind of dictate that environment for yourself. I think I have that ability and that capability of just improving wherever I go, also improving the environment wherever I go.”
The Knicks have lost six straight games and 10 of their last 11, but Durant thought Fisher — who was a part of nine of those 10 defeats — “was doing a great job” and pointed to Anthony missing seven games this season, all of which the Knicks have lost.
“I was shocked,’’ Durant said. “Fish did a great job. It’s tough to turn an organization around in a year and a half. He did the best he could do. I‘m sure he walked out with a lot of peace.
“I talked to Fish,’’ Durant said. “I just told him I love him, man. He knows the business. People go through adversity all the time. I told him he did a great job and know he can walk away from that job at peace, knowing he gave 110 percent.’’