The coach of the New York Knicks took a lot more than a sharp elbow from an NBA player Saturday after the 6-foot-7 forward learned the coach was dating his estranged wife, The New York Post reported, citing sources.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly drove 95 miles to attack Knicks coach Derek Fisher after Barnes learned the retired point guard was at a Los Angeles residence with “Basketball Wives LA” star Gloria Govan. When Barnes arrived at 11:45 p.m., he reportedly found the couple with about 10 other people around a bonfire in the back yard and immediately went after Fisher. Barnes allegedly texted a friend that he beat up Fisher and spit in Govan's face.
“Matt came after Derek, but he only had a few scratches,” a source told The Post. “Derek’s not going to press charges; he’s going to let it go.”
Barnes, 35, and Govan, 29, have six-year-old twin sons together, Carter and Isaiah. The kids were reportedly on the phone with their father when Barnes was told Fisher, 41, was at the house, prompting the incident.
Barnes filed for divorce from Govan in January. She began dating Fisher “a few months” ago, a source told The Post. Fisher filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years, Candace, in March.
Fisher didn’t sport any visible bruises when he spoke with reporters before the Knicks’ preseason game on Wednesday.
“I’ve been through a lot in life,” he said. “Sometimes, we go through things we can’t or can control. I’m here. I’m focused. It’s not something that’s going to take me away from what we’re trying to do.”
Barnes said he was just focused on “playing right now” during a media availability on Thursday.
“What happened Saturday is a personal matter at this point,” he said. “Being around this league long enough, I know that my personal concern is always my kids, their health, happiness and safety. Outside of that, I’m here to focus on basketball.”
Fisher played 18 seasons for the Lakers, Warriors, Jazz, Thunder and Mavericks before the former point guard retired following the 2013-14 season in order to coach the Knicks. The five-time NBA champion averaged 8.3 points per game.
Barnes has played 12 seasons for the Lakers, Kings, Knicks, 76ers, Warriors, Suns, Magic and Clippers. He’s averaged 8.1 points per game and 4.5 rebounds.
Fisher and Barnes played together on the Lakers for two seasons.