Derek is too valuable to let go, whether many fans like it or not.
O.C. Register: I did not tell Derek Fisher he is slow and done and the problem with the Lakers.
I did the next-best thing, as far as many Lakers fans are concerned: I told Fisher you think he is slow and done and the problem with the Lakers.
He could smile because he is uncommonly confident and because I was bringing it up at a time when Fisher had just reiterated his worth not just to this franchise through the past but to this team right now.
He had 14 points on 50 percent shooting, six assists, two steals and one turnover Saturday night, when the Lakers won in Portland without sore-ankled Kobe Bryant. Beyond the numbers, Fisher was the undeniable leader on the court all night long – Pau Gasol might be the second All-Star, but he was the one needing counsel from Fisher during second-half warmups – with words that alternately educated and encouraged so many teammates.
It was no coincidence that Fisher was more assertive in Bryant’s absence.
“He and I are co-captains, and we work together to manage this team,” Fisher said. “So when he’s out, I know guys are going to look to me more than usual, so I just try to be even more vocal, more aggressive, stronger out there on the floor. They need to see me not worried about the fact that Kobe’s not playing – and I don’t think they’ll worry much about it either.”
I did not tell Fisher he is slow and done and the problem with the Lakers because I do not believe it is true – even if so many others do.