Got to give Derek Fisher credit, my man’s career has seen more resurrections than the city of Bon Temps. I’ll openly admit that I had written off Fisher years ago when he first left the Lake Show for the Golden State Warriors. I was convinced he’d become a veteran journeyman that would eventually find his way onto the end of the bench of a hapless team like the Charlotte Bobcats.
But that wasn’t the path D-Fish had laid out for himself on his hoops journeys.
As we know Fisher proved he still had that heroic gene kicking around in his DNA by coming up big for the Utah Jazz. He would find his way back to L.A. where yet another purple and gold dynasty was forged by the backcourt of Kobe and Fish.
Despite all his big moments and consistently clutch nature the Lakers relationship with Fisher had run its course. So when Mitch Kupchak shipped of D-Fish to Houston I once again got on my high horse and proclaimed Fisher’s playing days as done.
I shouldn’t be at all surprised to be wrong…again.
Here we are, mere hours away from the start of the 2012 NBA Finals and guess who will be taking the court once again on b-ball’s biggest stage?
Derek Fisher’s legacy as a Laker is already etched in stone. But if he can help pull this young Thunder team through the fire that is the Miami Heat and emerge as champions then the legend of Fisher will be more than L.A. lore. He’ll become an iconic figure of the game whose name will perhaps one day be associated with some sort of an award for leadership.
The Derek Fisher effect is real. I don’t want to oversell his importance to OKC and the quest for an NBA title but there’s no doubt that what he brings to that locker room will be just what Scott Brooks ordered. A young team getting their first taste of championship pressure needs a calming voice of experience like Derek’s. They’ll also need some big plays at critical moments to send LeBron James back to his bag of excuses.
Luckily Fisher can help on both fronts.
A few months ago I said there was no way Fisher would play a meaningful role on a title contender as he so desired after being bought out by the Houston Rockets. Not that he lives to prove me wrong but Fisher is making quite a habit out of that.
So I’m most definitely not going to make any statements regarding what Fisher can’t do any longer. I know better than that. Instead I’m just going to cheer him on for his continued commitment to being the best teammate possible while hoping to see another classic Fisher moment at some point during the Finals. Forget about Kobe’s quest to catch Jordan. It’s Derek Fisher who is flying dangerously close to MJ territory.