My favirote Laker during the three-peat era and my favirote Laker now. D-Fish’s influence on this team is rubbing off. I found it interesting last night on TNT on how coach Sloan mentioned all of the Jazz’s toughness last year came from D-Fish.
ESPN: “My assumption without knowing this from them is that what guys appreciate from me is that I’m a guy that does things a certain way in a way that I think is best not just for me but for those around me. And they are able to observe that and kind of sponge that into something they can make into their own. Where they can say, ‘I like the way D-Fish does that, I’ma add that to what I do in my own way.’ At least that’s what I hope.” — Derek Fisher
Look at their record. Look at where they sit in the standings. Listen to the experts and “know-it-alls” that talk around the League. The Lakers are for real this year because … The blank gets filled in with so many different things: of the maturity and development of Andrew Bynum; Lamar Odom is finally able to play his natural position; Kobe Bryant no longer has to average 35 and carry the team by himself; of Jordan Farmar’s emergence; Luke Walton, Ronny Turiaf and Sasha Vujacic have finally found their roles; Phil Jackson is coaching with more clarity and taking more calculated (and often brilliant) risks in games. Everything but the obvious.
As much as all of us want to believe that Bryant is the Lakers, he’s not. Not anymore. There’s a difference between being the best player on a team and being the most important player to its success. In some situations, the team’s (or League’s for this matter) best player isn’t the reason the team wins. In L.A., so far, 34 games in, the black Jack Bauer finally has what he’s been asking for since the summer. He just had no idea his wish would come through in an old-school veteran package so “unsuperstarish” and with so little media fanfare, that he — like everyone else — might be missing who the real savior is….