New York Teams

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Thought this was interesting: in a meeting with Derek Fisher and some members of the coaching staff last month, Phil Jackson told Derek Fisher: "I may not have mentored you as well as I could have."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Phil Jackson said Derek Fisher's firing was not due to Fisher's recent comments about focusing on the process rather than making the playoffs. "I didn't react to Derek's comments last week about the playoffs not being important and whatever's not a measure," Jackson said. "The understanding was turning around a team that's won 17 games and making a 40, 42-win season out of it... Saying that, we still think there's a way for (the players) to play better. "

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Phil Jackson hinted that Derek Fisher could've taken more advantage of his experienced staff. "That I was able to surround him with very experienced coaches... was really important too," Jackson said when asked about Fisher's lack of experience. "If he didn't take advantage of that, maybe that's part of that. Kurt (Rambis), Jim Cleamons, some of the guys that have had detailed experience& There really wasn't consensus in our staff. We decided to have a real good consensus in a working staff and the changing of ideas and communication."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Clifford said that Thibodeau has made himself a better coach during his time off from basketball. "I think what he's done is exactly what I thought he would do is I think he used it to grow as a coach," Clifford said. "We talk regularly and when you talk to him -- he's an expert on this league. He's using this to study teams, study trends, study players. He's always been on top of it anyway, but a sabbatical, it's not like he's -- he's relaxing and doing different things like that, but he's studying. He'll be an even better coach when he comes back."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford is one of Tom Thibodeau's closest friends and confidants. Clifford was asked before the game how much interest he thought Thibodeau would have in the New York Knicks job now that Derek Fisher has been fired. "I don't have any idea," Clifford said before Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls. "Obviously, he wants to coach again and that's a great job, he worked there and everything, but you'd have to ask him about that."

Mike Mazzeo ESPN Staff Writer 

Nets rookie Chris McCullough, who hasn't played since Jan. 11, 2015 due to a torn ACL, receives instruction during pre-game workouts. He is expected to make his NBA debut tonight vs. Denver.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Blue Jays sluggers vs. Yankees relievers

Expect intense late-game moments when the Jays battle the vaunted trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Good luck slipping a fastball past Josh Donaldson or Jose Bautista if you're behind in the count. Hitter vs. pitcher matchups to watch

Mike Mazzeo ESPN Staff Writer 

Nets rookie Chris McCullough could see some playing time tonight. Coach Tony Brown is not sure what his minutes limit will be like.


A quick end to Derek Fisher era at MSG

On Jan. 20, the Knicks stood at .500 and were one game out of eighth place in the East. The subsequent 1-9 stretch resembled Fisher's first team, which stumbled to a 17-65 finish.

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3hAdam Rubin

Tyler Clippard nearing deal with Diamondbacks

Reliever Tyler Clippard, acquired by the New York Mets last season, is close to signing with Arizona according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Jerry Crasnick ESPN Senior Writer 

Free agent reliever Tyler Clippard is getting close to a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, says a baseball source. Clippard struggled in September and in the postseason with the Mets. But he leads MLB relievers with 440 appearances since 2010, and he looks like another upgrade to an Arizona pitching staff that added starters Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller earlier this offseason.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Nets should be sellers -- and soon

The ESPN expert panel examining East teams with the NBA trade deadline 10 days away is surprised Brooklyn hasn't already started to break up its roster. 5-on-5 (Insider)

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Giants' defense could get worse

Wholesale changes to New York's D are expected after finishing dead last in total defense in 2015. But the possible departures of Jason Pierre-Paul and Prince Amukamara could make things even dicier for Big Blue. Way-too-early Power Rankings

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Rick Carlisle wasn't nearly as opinionated on the firing of Derek Fisher as he was after David Blatt's dismissal. "I'm disappointed for him,' Carlisle said of Fisher. "I don't know the specifics of the internal situation. There were in the midst of a pretty good turnaround until the recent stretch, and it's unfortunate. Other than that, I don't know what to tell you." Fisher played for Carlisle and the Mavs in the 2012-13 season, quitting after playing in nine games to supposedly spend more time with his family, only to join the Thunder later in the season.

Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

Report: Former Giant part of FBI probe

Jeremy Shockey was questioned by FBI agents this past week regarding his relationship with the alleged leader of an international drug and gambling ring. The former tight end is not the only athlete connected to the report. NFL rumors