Globe Sports: Through a strange twist of fate, the man known as D-Fish is back with the Los Angeles Lakers. His role figures to be a bit different the second time around.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” Lakers star Kobe Bryant said Tuesday regarding Derek Fisher’s return to the team. “It’s special for me. We came in together.”
And, Bryant said, the two have enjoyed a closeness ever since arriving in 1996.
“When we’re in our 50s and 60s, we’ll still have that,” he added.
Fisher and Bryant were teammates for eight years before the mass exodus from the Lakers following the 2003-04 season, when Bryant stayed while the likes of Fisher, Shaquille O’Neal, Rick Fox and Robert Horry headed elsewhere. The team hasn’t won a playoff series since then.
“It feels special, it really does,” Fisher said following the Lakers’ first formal practice of training camp. “It feels like a gift that fell out of the sky. It’s an example of how you really have to submit to life.”
After leaving the Lakers, Fisher played two seasons with the Golden State Warriors and one for the Utah Jazz. He captured the attention of NBA fans throughout the country last spring when he left the Jazz briefly during the playoffs because his young daughter, Tatum, was being treated for retinoblastoma — cancer in the left eye.