Well, now Fisher has a lot more spare time on his hands, and it appears that he is spending some of it with Gloria Govan, the previously mentioned estranged wife of Barnes. Govan posted a photo to Instagram that showed her going on a birthday-related vacation, and sure enough, there was Fisher, in the back of a large group in her party.
Govan deleted the photo, perhaps out of concern that Barnes would see it, but, of course, nothing can easily be scrubbed from the Internet. She captioned the photo with, “We in here,” along with the hashtags #internationalflight, #birthday, #celebration, #tipsy, #family, #hellasleepy and #lit.
In addition to the October altercation, for which Barnes was eventually suspended two games by the NBA, the Memphis player also referenced Fisher, a former teammate of his on the Lakers, and Govan in a rant he posted to Instagram on New Year’s Eve. “Being stuck in the ‘triangle offense’ w my ex & snitch, I mean former teammate & friend,” Barnes wrote, “… Who went behind my back, messed w my ex, got caught, got dealt w for being a snake, then ran & told the Police & NBA.. Instead of taken that a– whoopin like a man & kept it movin.”
Given that he publicly expressed those feelings, it hardly seemed like a coincidence when, very shortly after Fisher lost his job, Barnes posted the photo below. There was no caption, but a picture tells a thousand largely unprintable words, doesn’t it?
The notion that Fisher’s relationship with Govan played a role in his eventual firing was corroborated by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski in a column Tuesday. Here is what the noted NBA insider had to say:
“To fly to California and visit a girlfriend in the middle of the New York Knicks’ training camp – engaging Matt Barnes in a Tom-and-Jerry tussle-and-chase – cost Derek Fisher dearly. Fisher lost the moral high ground inside Madison Square Garden, lost a measure of gravitas as a leader of men.“The embarrassment of his unfilmed ‘Real Housewives‘ episode didn’t cost Fisher his job as Knicks coach, but it did start him on a slippery slope toward his firing on Monday. That October weekend odyssey was Fisher’s choice, and the blame for it all – including the failure to return to New York in time to conduct a Knicks practice – belongs to him.”
In addition, the NBA rumor mill has been churning with whispers that Fisher also had some sort of involvement with the girlfriend of Tim Hardaway Jr., who played for the Knicks last year before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks. When asked earlier this season about those rumors, Hardaway had this to say (via the New York Daily News):
“I’ve seen those. No reaction over here. I know all those are lies. They are going to do whatever they can, especially here in New York (with the media),” Hardaway told reporters. “So I am not even worried about that. I had a talk with my girlfriend. If you ask me, it is not true at all. I am completely positive with her judgment and what she said.”
There are still more rumors about Fisher and other players’ girlfriends, but his relationship with Govan, to whatever degree, appears to be a real thing. And that can’t be sitting well with Barnes.