LeBron James publicly stated that he wanted Derek Fisher in Miami but it seems that Fisher is set to sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder once he clears waivers. While his skills have eroded, players all over the league know how invaluable Fisher’s leadership and experience are to a team. Russell Westbrook and the Thunder are about to find out for themselves.
Kobe Bryant was definitely upset to see Fisher leave.
Bryant and Fisher have been through many battles together in their 16 seasons in the league. Of all the people Bryant has had run-ins with in his career; Fisher is probably the only one he has never had any major issues with.
As a matter of fact Fisher was usually the one that diffused situations between players in the Los Angeles Lakers’ locker room with his easy going demeanor and ability to relate to just about anyone.
But don’t get it twisted; Fisher is an assassin, a pit bull. He leaves everything out on the floor and just like the Black Mamba, he isn’t afraid to take the big shot. And he has some big shots on his resume to prove it.
LeBron James is well aware of that which is one of the reasons why James wanted Fisher to join him in Miami. The Heat have struggled in the big shot department so having Fisher there could help them with their crunch time struggles.
Instead, Fisher has decided to take his talents to Oklahoma City which will be a great thing for a young team like the Thunder. Fisher will get to mentor Russell Westbrook who has a Kobe-like ego although he lacks Kobe’s game.
He can help Westbrook and James Harden to better see the floor and give them advice on how to make better decisions when they are in the game. He can also help them raise their defensive intensity and I.Q. which seems to go missing for long stretches of games.
But if there is anything the Thunders’ management and coaching staff would like for Fisher to help them do is convince Westbrook of the importance of getting Kevin Durant the ball in the critical moments of games. It’s nice that Westbrook is confident in his ability to deliver in the clutch but he at least needs to let Durant touch the ball in critical moments.
So if Fisher can impart some of his wisdom to this group then they will be a much more dangerous team come playoff time. Fisher may even have the added bonus of being able to one-up his buddy Kobe in the ring department if things go right. We’ll see come June won’t we?
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.