The first-hand account, which appears on The Cauldron, is an attempt by Fisher to provide his side of the story and illuminate the notion that he was not fired by the Knicks for any reason stemming from the odd confrontation with Barnes. Rather, Fisher writes that the organization felt “things weren’t working out the way they had hoped” on the court and that handing the reigns over to current Coach Kurt Rambis would be better for the team.
Fisher instead pins the subsequent explosion of the story on Barnes and the media — the incident has since been referenced multiple times in popular culture, most notably by Jalen Rose on ESPN Radio and on Kanye West’s new album, “The Life of Pablo.”
Unfortunately, when the Knicks made the decision to let me go, some people — particularly certain members of the media — decided to take advantage of what had happened in my personal life, spinning those events as justification for the team’s decision to fire me.
Fisher begins his account of the tussle by slamming the media for their portrayal of the woman at the center of it: Gloria Govan, a star on the reality show “Basketball Wives” and Barnes’s estranged spouse. Fisher writes that Govan was characterized as a piece of property over which he and Barnes argued. He also makes note of the fact that he and Barnes were teammates for a relatively short time with the Los Angeles Lakers through the 2011 and 2012 campaigns, but he is adamant that the two were not friends and did not communicate outside of basketball activities.
The 41-year-old then offers the following account describing what he says took place in October:
Matt and Gloria were not trying to work things out, and I certainly wasn’t seeing her behind Matt’s back or in secret. The relationship wasn’t something I was trying to publicize, but it also wasn’t something I was trying to hide, either. There was no reason to.I don’t know what was going through Matt’s mind that day in October when he showed up unannounced at Gloria’s house, and started swinging. I didn’t retaliate. No one who was there did anything but try to get him to calm down, particularly because Matt and Gloria’s children were present. There was no fight.
Fisher goes on to say he is flawed but that his role in this incident was not one of a provocateur. He writes that he did not intend on talking about what happened, but the media’s spinning of the non-fight into a facet in the Knicks’ decision to let him go led him to type up his side of the story.
Factually, this is what is currently established and known about the incident: Fisher, Barnes and Govan were all involved in an October 2015 confrontation — Fisher refrains from calling it a fight or “scrap” in his first-person piece, but confirms that punches were thrown by Barnes, so it seems the categorization is a bit fuzzy at this point. Barnes and Govan had been separated for more than a year at that time and Fisher and Govan’s relationship was fairly new.
Barnes was located in Santa Barbara, Calif., for training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies at the same time that Fisher was in Los Angeles visiting Govan. Barnes drove 95 miles to the house — actually, Barnes claims it was 15 miles — and a physical altercation ensued in the presence of Govan, Fisher, friends of Govan and the children of Govan and Barnes.
Barnes was eventually hit with a two-game suspension by the NBA and would later call Fisher a “snitch” in an infamous New Year’s Eve rant. Fisher was let go by the Knicks Feb. 8 after the team went 1-9 through a 10-game stretch.
Past that, there has been a decent amount of speculation and projection, with Fisher’s latest account establishing itself more as an opportunity to blame rather than a play-by-play account of the two major events at hand.
Barnes and Govan have yet to comment on Fisher’s account.