Lost in all the concern over how the Lakers would react to the trade of Derek Fisher is the concern over how the man himself has handled being dealt. If his near three day absence from Houston is any indication then it would appear D-Fish isn’t taking the transition too well.
There was some speculation that the Houston Rockets were working on a buyout of Fisher’s contract but that is in contrast to what Kevin McHale said when asked about Derek’s status. According to McHale he had plans to put Fisher to work. With a long list of injuries, the Rockets certainly could have used another player in the backcourt during their loss to the Clippers.
If indeed Fisher is bought out then the natural question is will another team come calling?
As sad as it might sound, there isn’t much of a market for a veteran point guard that can’t defend and whose best asset isn’t even seen on the court. For years now the triangle offense has masked many of Derek’s shortcomings. He wasn’t required to take on many of the responsibilities most point guards do. Phil Jackson has never had much use for a true point guard thus Fisher was allowed to be a contributor more so than a game manager.
The reality is that the end of Fisher’s Laker days could also be the end of his playing days.
Never forget his original reason for returning to Los Angeles was for family reasons. No matter where he might be collecting his next check from there is no chance he’s going to make a permanent move at this stage. Besides, this contract was almost certainly Fisher’s last as an NBA player. With one more year left on his deal it is not too far fetched to think Fisher will be going through this same process all over again. Expiring contracts are always in high demand when it comes time to talk trade.
So much of what goes into being successful in sports relates to time and place. Fisher had the talent to play in the NBA. However playing in the triangle offense ultimately is what gave him both the opportunity to be a fulltime starter and to see his talents put to their best use. His timing couldn’t have been better but it now looks like all the sands have slipped through that hour glass.