Over the course of his 18-year playing career, New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher commanded the respect of his peers. He won five NBA championships, was elected as the president of the NBPA and has been heralded as a leader of almost every locker room he’s been in.
Matt Barnes doesn’t appear to share the sentiment of his peers.
In one of the most bizarre stories to come across Daily Knicks, Barnes reportedly attacked Fisher on Saturday, October 3. Fisher, who’s allegedly dating Gloria Govan, was confronted by Barnes at Govan’s home in Los Angeles.
The impetus for this shocking turn of events: Govan is Barnes’ ex-wife.
I apologize for the TMZ implications, but this altercation could have significant NBA ramifications.
Fisher and Barnes are members of the NBA community, which alone creates the grounds for an investigation. The fact that both are active and employed in the Association only adds to the potential for action by the league office.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Adam Silver and company didn’t find out about the alleged attack until Wednesday, October 7.
Rewind a bit and you may see the importance of this.
It was reported on Monday, October 5 that Fisher wouldn’t join the Knicks at practice for, “Personal reasons.” This coincides with the clash between Barnes and Fisher, which Ian Mohr of The New York Post reports occurred over this past weekend.
Not only are two members of the NBA at odds, but a head coach was, assuming all dots are connected, forced to miss a team practice because of what transpired—and the league office was seemingly unaware of why.
That’s not a promising sign.
Yahoo! Sports’ Shams Charania and Wojnarowski report that Fisher missing the practice was a result of malfunctions with a private jet. They also confirm that the NBA will investigate what transpired between Barnes and Fisher.
The Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies will be doing the same.
"The Knicks, Grizzlies and NBA security have been made aware of the incident, and are expected to soon start working together on a probe of Saturday night’s events. A significant part of the NBA’s security department is overseas working closely with the league’s preseason games in Europe, sources told Yahoo Sports.Barnes had been with the Grizzlies at training camp in Santa Barbara, and Fisher had flown to Los Angeles on a Knicks off day over the weekend. Fisher missed the Knicks practice on Monday for what the team termed “a personal matter,” but sources said that his failure to return to New York had to do with a malfunction on a private jet."
This isn’t just another pop culture story; this could impact both men as it pertains to the NBA.
Barnes, currently signed to the Grizzlies, is slated to face Fisher’s Knicks on two separate occasions in 2015-16. New York travels to Memphis on Saturday, January 16, and hosts the Grizzlies on Friday, February 5.
The issue: Mohr reports that Govan could file a restraining order against Barnes.
If that proves to be the case, Fisher could be a part of the documentation. One can’t help but wonder how the two would attend and participate in the same NBA game with a restraining order forcing a distance to be maintained between them.
Beyond the TMZ headline, this could be a serious enough confrontation that the NBA could be forced to act accordingly.
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