Derek Fisher: An Appreciation for Former Laker’s Career

In 13 seasons with the Lakers, Derek Fisher’s stats are as follows: 915 games, 592 starts, 7.9 points per game. He shot just over 40 percent from the field and 37.5 percent on three-pointers. He averaged 2.9 assists per game. He never went to an All-Star game, except for his appearance in the 1996 Rookie Challenge.

These are the only numbers that matter in those 13 seasons: Seven NBA Finals appearances. Five NBA titles. 0.4 seconds. The uncountable number of Lakers fans who’ll remember his character and leadership as much as his clutch moments.

Fisher’s trade to the Houston Rockets isn't just a business move that overlooks loyalty for on-court help. It marks the end of an era that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Besides Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol, no Lakers player has mattered more over the last decade.

People will bring up the 0.4 shot—the game-winning shot against San Antonio in the 2004 playoffs. The best part about it is that he was probably the fourth option. But he was ready, and when he got the ball, the rest is history. That shot helped propel the Lakers to eventually reach the 2004 NBA Finals.

But as I wrote before, Fisher’s made a living off big moments long before and after that. One of my favorites was going 15-for-20 from three-point range in the 2001 Western Conference Finals. It set a record for most threes in a sweep, and he saved his best for last when he went 6-of-7 from downtown to close out the Spurs in Game 4.

He won Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Finals in Orlando with two timely three-pointers, including one to force overtime. His drive to win Game 3 of the 2010 Finals capped an 11-point quarter in Boston. And I should mention that Fisher was most clutch on the road.

He was always the one down to do the dirty work. Whether it was hustling after a loose ball or setting the tone in the 2009 playoffs, getting ejected aft...

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