Derek Fisher has played the majority of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers and considering that career has spanned a whopping 1,154 games, that's quite a feat. Fisher was traded by the Lakers in a salary dump to the Houston Rockets last week, however, and is now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder following a buyout.
Fisher appeared in his first game for the Thunder on Wednesday night, notching 19 minutes in a blowout victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, but that's not what caught our eye this morning. Instead, it's the statement the veteran point guard issued to Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick prior to the game.
Fisher's statement to SI was pretty much exactly what one would expect when trying to guess how the leader of the National Basketball Player's Association would assess such a situation. The 37-year-old addressed the reason he signed with the Thunder over "several" other teams that were interested: his projected role on the team, his surprise that he was traded and even a mention of the special front office in Oklahoma City.
When he got to looking at the past, however, there was no mention of the Lakers' front office -- nothing of the Buss family, who employed him and nothing regarding the front office, who helped put Fisher in position to win five NBA championships. Instead, he thanked his former teammates and said he's ready to see his old team on the court (and likely in the playoffs).
To Kobe, Pau, Andrew, Matt, Steve, Devin, Darius, Josh, Drew, Troy, Metta, Luke, and Jason, and all my teammates in Los Angeles through the years, thank you for your friendship, for the camaraderie, for pushing me each and every day to achieve greatness and letting me lead you the best way I knew how. You each have a lifelong friend and supporter in me.
Los Angeles will always have a place in my heart, it will remain a home to my family and my businesses, but basketball will be played elsewhere and I look forward to seeing everyone on the court ... even if it is in a different uniform."
It doesn't sound like Fisher necessarily holds a grudge, but the last paragraph seems a bit portentous, does it not?
P.S. A fun game might be to test your Lakers' fan friends and see how many can put a last name with the first names Fisher listed.