Derek Fisher, and Kobe Bryant joined the Los Angeles Lakers together during the 1996 NBA Draft. They’ve shared the same backcourt for the majority of their time spent in the NBA. Together these two have brought leadership to the organization that helped their team win 5 NBA Championships, and have made countless memories for every Lakers fan out there. The decision is understandable for basketball, and financial reasons but all in all it’s just a sad moment for Lakers fans who hoped to say goodbye to an old friend in a different way.
Fisher’s trade to the Houston Rockets yesterday at the NBA Trade Deadline marks the end to an era that will not be soon forgotten. Besides the greatness of stars such as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Pau Gasol, no other Laker has probably mattered more than Derek Fisher over this past decade. After 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers the only stats that’ll matter when mentioning Fisher’s name are the following: 7 NBA Finals appearances, 5 NBA Titles, and the uncountable amount of Lakers fans that’ll remember Derek’s character, and leadership as much as all his clutch moments.
One thing i’ll surely miss from D-Fish is his hard work, and contrubutions to the team. I know over time he’s slowed down considerably, but speed aside, he was always in the right place at the right time, he took charges to a whole new level, he hustled after every loose ball, he sacrificed his body game in, and game out just to help the team get a victory, and you cannot thank him enough for all the little things the man from Arkansas-Little Rock did for this organization.
One of the best parts about his 0.4 game-winning shot against San Antonio in the 2004 playoffs was the fact that he was likely the fourth option out there to shoot it. But as usual, he was ready when he got the ball, and the rest would eventually be history. Fisher’s made a living off big moment shots way before the 0.4 happened, and long after that too…He won Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Finals in Orlando with his two very timely three pointers, including one to force OT. His drive to win Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals capped an 11-point quarter in Boston. The man played with his heart on his sleeve, and he was always ready when called upon.
Seeing Fisher on the court in a Lakers jersey was a calming reminder that we’re in good hands. You knew he’d be a coach in the team’s huddle, a leader during practices, and a voice to be heard during meetings too. He cared about the team more than himself, treated everyone with the same amount of respect, and took pride in being a Los Angeles Laker. He’s been nothing but a first class act since the day he arrived in 1996, and I hope that the fans give him a standing ovation when he returns in April for all that he’s done for us. Derek Fisher may have never played in an NBA All-Star game, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a star, because in Hollywood we know a star when we see one, and Derek Fisher was, and always willl be a star to us Lakers fans. They say that there are plenty of fish in the sea. I disagree-you’ll never find another Fish (er) like Derek in the C (California).
By: Drew Kashmer