Former New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has been formally charged with two counts of DUI in connection with a June 4 car crash in California.
The accident happened while Fisher was driving along Freeway 101 approaching the 405 interchange in Sherman Oaks when the 2015 Cadillac Escalade he was driving veered off the road and overturned after hitting a raised concrete and metal guardrail. At the time of the crash, Fisher was with girlfriend Gloria Govan of the "Basketball Housewives" fame. Both were not injured. However, during the investigation, police arrested Fisher on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after discovering that he had been drinking.
DUIs aren't uncommon among athletes and celebrities in the United States. It's no big deal, really. Just this May, superstar golfer Tiger Woods was flagged for a DUI in Florida. But Fisher's case is pretty interesting.
Thriving in The Triangle
Derek Fisher played majority of his 18 NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the Lakers' 24th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. Known for his leadership, toughness and ability to deliver in the clutch, D-Fish spent his first eight NBA seasons in Los Angeles. As starting point guard, he thrived under Phil Jackson's vaunted triangle offensive system and was a key contributor during the Lakers' three year title run from 2000-2002.
Fisher's finest individual moment was his '0.4 second shot' in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference finals. The miraculous game winning three point shot broke the backs of the San Antonio Spurs who would go on to lose the series to L.A. in six games. After the Los Angeles Lakers were upset by the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, Fisher left Tinseltown and spent time with the the Golden State Warriors and the Utah Jazz. D-Fish then returned for a second tour of duty with the Lakers in 2007 where he helped Kobe Bryant win back to back titles from 2009-10. He left L.A. again and finished his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014.
Because of Fisher's familiarity with the 'Triangle', Derek Fisher was the choice of Phil Jackson as head coach of the New York Knicks when the latter assumed the role as President of the Knicks franchise. In June 2014, Fisher signed a 5 year coaching deal worth $25M to help Jackson bring back the glory years of the Knicks. Fisher became crucial in making Carmelo Anthony re-sign with the Knicks that year and he was sold that Melo would thrive in Jackson's system like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant did. But that never happened.
In Fisher's first season as head coach, the Knicks finished with a dismal 17-65 record. That was the worst season in the history of the Knickerbocker franchise. The following year, Fisher's Knicks started decently at 22-22, mainly because of the arrival of Kristaps Porzingis. However, Fisher was fired after the Knicks lost 9 of their next 10 games and fell to 23-31. Some say Fisher wasn't just booted out because of his poor performance but because of the controversies he was involved with in his personal life. That leads us back to our main story.
Another Kind of Triangle
While Derek Fisher thrived in basketball's triangle offensive system, he was involved in another kind of triangle outside the basketball court. After divorcing his wife Candace in March 2015, Fisher began dating reality star Gloria Govan. Govan is the ex-wife of former teammate Matt Barnes. Barnes and Govan were together for eight years, married for almost two and had two boys. The couple split in 2014 but their divorce wasn't finalized until late 2016. So in between the dates, Matt Barnes still had a legal stake-at least in his eyes. Anyways, the three formed a love triangle that later exploded in a physical confrontation which grabbed the headlines.
In October 2015, Barnes allegedly drove all the way to Los Angeles when one of his sons told him over the phone that Fisher was with their mother at their home. Upon arriving there, Barnes reportedly confronted Fisher and beat him up until his son pleaded him to stop. Fisher wasn't hurt and didn't file charges but the incident triggered a romantic rivalry between the two former Lakers teammates. Five months later, Fisher and Govan went public with their relationship. That did not stop the beef.
The Beef Goes On
They say that time heals all wounds but sixteen months after the Love triangle erupted, Matt Barnes and Derek Fisher went at it again, in social media. In January 2017, the Bleacher Report posted a Derek Fisher quote regarding the issue on its Instagram account. It didn’t take long before Matt Barnes reacted to the post:
"He sound real tough on here, didn't sound like that when he was running around my house screaming and pleading."
Fisher kept his silence, as usual, but Barnes surely made it known that he wasn't over the issue yet. And now here comes this: Derek Fisher in a car accident involving Gloria Govan. Good thing the kids weren't there or else hell would've broken loose right there and then. But more interestingly, the car involved in the accident was registered under Matt Barnes' name. The vehicle was supposed to be given by Barnes to Govan for her use with the their children. Now Derek Fisher rammed it, after he rammed his ex-wife. Sucks right?
So far, Matt Barnes hasn't reacted to the accident or to Fisher being charged with DUI. But knowing his personality, it's scary why he's been silent so far. You bet you haven't heard the last from Matt Barnes. Stay tuned for the next chapter in Derek Fisher’s NBA triangle.
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