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Derek Fisher talks to Knicks players about reported physical altercation with Matt Barnes

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher coaches

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher coaches from the sidelines in the second quarter of their NBA exhibition game at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 7, 2015. Photo Credit: Ray Stubblebine

Derek Fisher addressed his team about reports that he had a physical altercation with Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes over the weekend in Los Angeles.

Fisher said he wanted to let his players know that his focus is with the Knicks and said he doesn't expect the incident to become a distraction.

"I wanted to make sure that before they were asked about it at least that they heard from me directly about my state of mind and how present I am," Fisher said before the Knicks' preseason opener against Bauru. "Sometimes we all go through things we can or can't control, but I'm here, I'm focused.

"It's not something that's going to take me away from who we are and what we're trying to do. I assured them of that."

According to multiple reports, Barnes drove from Santa Barbara -- where the Grizzlies have training camp -- and confronted Fisher. The reports say Fisher is in a relationship with Barnes' estranged wife Gloria Govan, and the altercation took place at Govan's home. Fisher and Barnes are former teammates.

Fisher wouldn't directly comment on the reports. But when asked if there would be any legal ramifications from the confrontation, he responded, "Guess we'll see."

A team spokesman said, "Derek has the full support of the Knicks organization."

Fisher and his wife filed for divorce in March. His children live in Los Angeles and Fisher alluded to the fact that he flew from New York after Saturday's practice to see them.

The Knicks didn't practice Sunday and Fisher missed practice Monday for what the team called personal reasons. The team said Fisher missed practice because of travel problems.

The NBA declined to comment about the incident. Yahoo! Sports reported that the NBA is investigating the matter.

The Grizzlies issued a statement but never mentioned Fisher. "We are aware and currently gathering information regarding today's report involving Matt Barnes," the statement read. "We have no further comment at this time."

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.


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