According to ESPN Los Angeles, the lure of chasing a sixth NBA title with the L.A. Lakers was too much for Derek Fisher to resist. Despite brief flirtations with the Miami Heat, L.A.'s wily veteran will return, accepting less money, and a role next to Kobe Bryant, his teammate for 11 of his NBA seasons.
On his website, Fisher said, "I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles. While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this offseason, it is the most valuable."
As he continued, "I took time to consider all my options, many not reported in the media. I listened to every coach, every general manager, even potential teammates in order to make the right decision and I thank every one of them. At the end of the day, there's one person I could not turn away from..."
Now, let the man-love begin!
Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons, came into the league together as kids, and has been loyal to me even when others had doubts. We have won five championships together. I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles. While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off season, it is the most valuable.
I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin...
Jokes about him and Kobe aside, the commitment from Fisher is pretty endearing. He's put off retirement and shunned opportunities elsewhere to keep fighting with the Lakers. As we said earlier today, Fisher has become synonymous with the Lakers over the years. It's made him a villain in some parts, and hero in L.A.
But I think everyone can agree that for Fisher to end his career anywhere but Los Angeles, playing sidekick to Kobe, would just be wrong. So here's to appreciating the loyalty from Fish, and I'm sure in nine months I'll comfortably return to loathing his incessant success.