Little Fisher playing big role for Lakers

Everyone seems to have a reason why
Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher gets overlooked as one the NBA’s elite
guards. Yet Fisher’s tendency to come up big when it counts continues in the
NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

The 14-year NBA veteran is a big
reason why the Lakers and star Kobe Bryant continue to be powerhouses in the
NBA. As Bryant states he is a great team-mate.

“We play off each other extremely
well,” Bryant said. “That’s what he does. That’s what he’s been doing extremely
well. He has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.”

Fisher and Bryant entered the
league at the same time, are close friends and are as good a backcourt duo as
there is in the NBA. But their personalities are polar opposites. The
35-year-old Fisher has a funny approach to their partnership.

“Kobe jokingly refers to it as
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in terms of how we go about balancing it,”
Fisher said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily him tearing guys up in a way
that’s demeaning or belittling to our guys on our team, but just a different
style of communicating it.”

Fisher joined the Lakers in 1996
but left in 2004 for the Golden State Warriors and then the Utah Jazz. He asked
the Jazz to release him in 2007 so he could go to a city with the right mix of
doctors to help his young daughter overcome eye cancer. Fisher is pleased to
still be playing.

“Playing for the Lakers was a
secondary part of moving back to Los Angeles,” Fisher said. “We were moving
back to LA regardless of which team I played for. To be a part of the success
that I’ve been a part of the three years I’ve been here, I couldn’t have imagined.”

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