Isiah Thomas made yet another big change to the Knicks on Wednesday afternoon when he made the long-speculated decision to fire Chaney. Two assistants also were released.
Lenny Wilkens was hired as Chaney’s replacement, but he won’t coach the team Wednesday. Instead it will be Herb Williams, one of the assistants who wasn’t fired.
Wilkens is the NBA’s career leader in coaching victories.
“I think he’s a perfect fit,” Thomas said at a news conference at Madison Square Garden.
There has been speculation that Chaney would be fired since Thomas became the Knicks’ president and refused to publicly endorse the coach. Chaney’s situation wasn’t helped by fans at Madison Square Garden chanting “Fire Chaney” during two of the last three games.
The Knicks have lost five of six and are just 1-3 since Thomas acquired Stephon Marbury from Phoenix.
The Magic snapped a six-game slide with a 103-92 win over Washington on Friday before losing 87-82 to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.
Orlando held an opponent below 90 points for the first time in 13 games but shot just 36 percent from the field, including 2-for-18 from 3-point range.
Tracy McGrady missed all nine of his 3-point attempts but still had 32 points. He’s averaged 34.4 points in the last five games.
Orlando has lost six straight road games to fall to 5-15 away from home this season. The Magic play six of their next nine games on the road.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 12): Magic - 7th place, 12 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Knicks - 5th place, 7 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Magic - McGrady, 25.6 ppg and 5.8 apg; Drew Gooden, 7.6 rpg. Knicks - Marbury, 20.4 ppg and 8.5 apg; Thomas, 9.1 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Knicks, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 29; Knicks, 114-86. At Orlando, Van Horn had 19 points while Houston and Frank Williams each added 18 for the Knicks, who shot 55 percent from the field.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Magic - 5-15 on the road; Knicks - 9-11 at home.