Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Greatest Players in Lakers History (Updated 2023)

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /
27 of 50
Derek Fisher (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Derek Fisher (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Greatest Lakers of all time: 24- Derek Fisher

  • 13 seasons, 915 games, 5 titles
  • 7.9 PPG
  • 2.9 APG

Fish was another of the Lakers essential role players whose value far exceeded his stats. His popularity often causes fans to somewhat over-rate him. But he was a solid contributor to 5 Laker championship teams.

He was drafted the same year as Bryant, and the two of them bonded both on and off the basketball court. Because Derek didn’t demand the ball, in certain respects he was the perfect backcourt complement to Kobe.

Fisher was not a traditional type of point guard, but Phil Jackson’s triangle offense suited him especially well. That offense takes the ball out of the point guard’s hands, instead requiring him to pass it to a wing shortly after advancing past midcourt.

That allowed Fish to spot up and be available when defenses inevitably double-teamed Bryant and O’Neal. He was not a particularly good outside shooter when he entered the NBA, but through hard work and perseverance he became much more of a marksman.

Although some ultra-quick point guards caused him defensive trouble, as they do to most every opponent, Derek was a hard-nosed defender who maintained excellent position, time and again drawing offensive fouls. His physicality was one of his greatest assets.

His other strengths were his leadership, his mastery of the triangle offense and his clutch shots. Most notable of the latter was his game-winning shot with 0.4 seconds remaining against the Spurs in the 2004 playoffs, and his two late game 3-pointers in the 2009 Finals against the Magic.

His ranking reflects his championship contributions and transcends his rather modest career averages. Fish played in the 5th most games in Lakers regular season history and is 25th in APG and 18th in total points. He also ranks 2nd in postseason games played and 9th in points scored.