Former NBA coach Derek Fisher broke his silence about the fight with Matt Barnes over Gloria Govan in an essay published on Thursday in Sports Illustrated’s “The Cauldron.”
“One thing missing was my voice − my version of events,” Fisher wrote.
Throughout the essay, Fisher refused to discuss “the rumors and gossip,” including rumors that he missed practice in order to meet with Govan, whom he admits to dating. Fisher insists his personal life never got in the way of his work and that he and Barnes had never been very close anyway:
“As far as Matt goes, to say that we had history before the incident would be an exaggeration,” Fisher wrote. “We were teammates, and never had any issues. We never had any real relationship off the court, either. We weren’t friends and we had no mutual friends. … When Gloria and I started dating, she and Matt had already been separated and living apart for more than a year.”
“Same thing for me. My wife and I were long separated; she was in L.A., I was in New York. Matt and Gloria were not trying to work things out, and I certainly wasn’t seeing her behind Matt’s back or in secret. The relationship wasn’t something I was trying to publicize, but it also wasn’t something I was trying to hide, either. There was no reason to.
Fisher does address the majorly publicized “fight” that even got a special shout-out in Kanye West’s song “30 Hours” from The Life of Pablo.
“I don’t know what was going through Matt’s mind that day in October when he showed up unannounced at Gloria’s house, and started swinging. I didn’t retaliate. No one who was there did anything but try to get him to calm down, particularly because Matt and Gloria’s children were present. There was no fight. That’s it.”
Fisher also called out the media for their treatment of Govan, saying:
“I was stunned and disappointed by the way Gloria was treated in the media. After the much publicized (and unfortunate) situation went down in Los Angeles last year, story after story was published that portrayed her as a piece of property, instead of the strong, independent woman and mother she is; someone who is capable of making her own decisions. This is a human being we are talking about, not some pawn in a game.”
Fisher had been married to ex-wife Candace for 10 years before filing for divorce last March. They share twins and each has a child from previous relationships.
Govan and Barnes share twin boys and had been married for two years before splitting.