NEW YORK (Reuters) - The struggling New York Knicks have fired head coach Derek Fisher less than two years after he was brought in to help turn around the once-proud franchise, the National Basketball Association team said on Monday.
Fisher was dismissed a day after the NBA’s most valuable team (23-31) lost their fifth consecutive outing, falling five games back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Associate head coach Kurt Rambis has been named interim head coach, the Knicks said in a statement.
Fisher, a five-times NBA champion player with the Los Angeles Lakers, had no coaching experience when he was hired in mid-2014. It represented one of the first major moves in a makeover spearheaded by president Phil Jackson.
A former president of the NBA Players Association, Fisher took over a Knicks team that had a 37-45 record in the 2013-14 season and missed the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Fisher, fresh off the final season of an 18-year playing career, toiled as the Knicks posted the second worst record in the league, going 17-65 in his first campaign.
He finished with a 40-96 overall record with the team.
Rambis, hired by the Knicks in 2014, is an 18-year NBA coaching veteran. He also led the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons from 2009.
Last month a Forbes poll showed the Knicks, worth $3 billion, were the NBA’s most valuable team due to a new cable deal and because they have the highest premium-seating revenue in the league.
Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Tony Jimenez