When Derek Fisher retires, the Lakers need to honor him in every way possible. His name and number need to go up in the rafters. There needs to be a statue of him erected outside Staples. He deserves any honor the Lakers can bestow him with. Tonight he joined the likes of Jerry “Mr. Clutch” West, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Robert Horry on the list of ridiculously clutch Lakers. Without Derek Fisher, the Lakers only win one or two titles this decade instead of four. End of story. It’s time to crown his ass — he’s the Fisher King of Los Angeles.
Until he retires, can we cryogenically freeze him every season until the Finals, then thaw him out to take clutch shots? Kind of like Demolition Man, but without all the ridiculous ass-wiping seashells and Taco Bell product placement. We could squeeze another decade out of him that way.
Speaking of demolition, Dwight Howard and Co. had their championship dreams demolished by D-Fish tonight. Sorry, fellas. Call the Spurs up. They’ll be your shoulder to cry on. They’ll tell you that it happens.
I can’t applaud both Fish and Phil Jackson enough for their confidence and patience. Both knew Fisher would snap out of his slump, and both had confidence he could and would hit big shots if given the opportunity. That’s exactly what he did.
With regulation winding down in the fourth, Fisher caught a cross-court pass from Trevor Ariza, saw that Jameer Nelson — who should have been glued to him like that stalker Fish has a restraining order on — was giving him too much room, stepped up and shot a rainbow three. 4.6 ticks left on the clock. Swish. Nothing but net. That shot sent me into a Purple and Gold frenzy in my living room and the game into overtime.
In overtime, Fish struck again. Kobe Bryant, driving as a decoy, kicked out a beautiful dish to Fish, who calmly stepped into it. 31.3 seconds remaining in O.T. Draino! Another colossal clutch three-pointer, this one putting the Lakers up for good and likely delivering the team’s fourth championship this decade. Typically, only a bombing comedian can quiet a crowd that fast, but Amway Arena went “crickets” instantly. They knew Fisher had hit yet another game-winner.
Derek, I want to personally apologize for being so hard on you earlier in these playoffs (mostly on my Twitter). There were games against the Rockets where I thought you needed to be taken out to the glue factory. Hell, I think I even felt that way during Game Three of this series. You may be long in the tooth, but you are also long in the ballsack. Taking and making those shots with no hesitation during arguably the worst playoff run of your career. Sam Cassell’s set doesn’t even hang that low.
Many other things happened tonight. Lamar Odom was all over Rashard Lewis defensively like he was the world’s biggest Snickers bar. Kobe Bryant fought through some shooting woes and kept his team in it throughout (32 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, a block, a steal and 8/8 from the free throw line). Hedo Turkaglu went from Turkish Jordan to Turkish Nick Anderson, clanking four clutch free throws. The Lakers went to the Hack-a-Howard strategy. Trevor Ariza became a household name to all NBA fans. But make no mistake about it, tonight was Derek Fisher’s night. Long live the Fisher King!
Here’s a video of Fisher being interviewed that includes the two threes…