I’m noticing a glaring omission when reading and watching all the gushing praise over new Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher.
There’s the experience. The winning. The respect. The guts. The rings.
But what about the lie? And the quitting?
You won’t hear much about that as the Knicks announce their new leader this week, but Mavs fans surely won’t forget the way Fisher exploited their team back in 2012.
In November of that year the Mavs needed veteran point guard help to compliment Darren Collison and Fisher, though 38 at the time, was a free agent looking for a job. In fact, it was Fisher who reached out to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, lobbying for a gig. Cuban took the bait, the Mavs signed the five-time NBA champion and … after just nine games Fisher up and quit.
He asked for his release from Dallas, under the guise of missing his family. But just two months later Fisher signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, raising eyebrows and Cuban’s blood pressure. Obviously Fisher pulled a scam, intent on buying time and earning money from the Mavs while searching for a role on a contending team. Either that or — as Cuban noted with sarcasm — Fisher got tired of his kids real quick.
Fisher has been subsequently booed on each of his returns to American Airlines Center.
“My personality is to try to help somebody, particularly somebody that I thought one thing about, even if it didn't turn out to be that way,” Cuban said when Fisher signed with the Thunder after quitting the Mavs. “So I was just trying to be nice and help. Usually when you help somebody, you expect at least some semblance of loyalty back. When you don't get it, then it's more disappointing. With his history, I shouldn't have been surprised what happened.”
Now given the keys to one of the most prestigious franchises in the NBA, Fisher annulled three marriages (contracts) during his 18-year playing career, also walking away from the Rockets and Jazz to be closer to family in Los Angeles.
In other words, I sure hope Fisher’s family moves with him to New York, or else …
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.