Friday, March 16, 2012

The Legacy Of Derek Fisher

The Los Angeles Lakers have known for quite some time they needed an upgrade at the point guard position. They failed in their attempt to get Chris Paul earlier this year and the Phoenix Suns were unwilling to part with Steve Nash. At the trade deadline the Lakers finally addressed their glaring need by sending Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets and acquiring Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although the trade makes the Lakers younger and more athletic in the back court it's still painful to see Derek Fisher go.

For Laker Nation Derek Fisher is like family. I can remember when he took me and my friends under his wing following the 2000 NBA championship. At the infamous Shaq pool party Fish made it a point to keep the entourage stocked with drinks and pretty ladies. Considering he didn't know any of us from Adam his generosity and humility has always stuck with me.

Not only does Laker Nation consider him family he was the only player Kobe Bryant would listen to. Their time together spans 5 championships, a three peat, a bitter divorce (Shaq and Vanessa), a controversial trial, and two stints with the Zen master. There's no one Kobe trusts more and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to a locker room without his number one confidant. Fish has been there from the start so there's no way to tell what kind of impact his absence will have.

On the court is a different story. Derek Fisher has definitely lost a step and in a conference with point guards like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, and Ty Lawson his deficiencies were being exploited. From a business and competitive standpoint Derek Fisher was becoming a liability the Lakers couldn't afford. Although the trade is emotional for fans it was the right thing to do. Owners don't have the luxury of being sentimental when it comes to protecting their asset.

Derek Fisher will always be a Laker in my mind. All the clutch 3 pointers (especially San Antonio), battles with the Kings and the Spurs, and the way he handled the Shaq/Kobe feud can not be overlooked. Let us not forget the President of the players association did a phenomenal job negotiating against billionaires making it possible for fans to enjoy the NBA this season. I wish he could have retired a Laker, but it wasn't in the cards. That's not to say he won't re-join the Lakers in some capacity. I'm feeling the front office or coaching in his future. Thanks for everything Derek. Hurry back to LA.

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