Barnes was in the wrong, but that didn’t make Fisher beyond reproach.
Fisher’s reputation and standing in New York’s locker room went south because of the incident, allowing for the plausibility of rumors — while unfounded at this point — that he was romancing different players’ significant others.
One of his former players, Tim Hardaway Jr., was prompted to ask his girlfriend if the rumors of her and Fisher were true.
“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 Jr. told reporters earlier this season. “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.”
On one hand, it’s unfair to demonize Fisher merely based on unsubstantiated rumors.
On the other hand, if one of his players found them believable enough to ask his girlfriend about them, that’s a problem for the Knicks.
Correction: Was a problem for the Knicks. They fired Fisher (and traded Hardaway).
No wonder he had to go.