Los Angeles Lakers Derek Fisher Hanging on Too Long?

It’s really hard to look at this situation without any bias. As a Laker fan I love Derek Fisher and I’m glad he’ll be back to help us get through the playoffs. As a Laker fan I also wish he’d have taken the high road and retired after the 2009-10 season and am in utter shock he will be brought back to get burned on defense throughout the regular season.

Before I start writing this article, let’s get the “stats” out-of-the-way:

Last year he shot 35 percent from 3, 38 percent overall. His averaged 2.5 assists while turning it over once a game and grabbing 2 rebounds. He shot over 80 percent from the free throw line but only got about one trip per game to the charity stripe. His point total? A whopping 7.7.

All of those stats are down from his previous year, by the way.

Now onto the argument itself.

Pros:  With Fish, the numbers often don’t tell the whole story. If we do look at the numbers though you’ll find a great stat that is very underrated: games played. You would be hard pressed to find a point guard who is more durable than Ol’ Fish. He is there day in and day out which I believe has a calming effect on the rest of the team. Sure, Fish gets killed by opposing point guards but he makes those guys work for the points. He is a heady defender who can draw a ton of offensive foul calls (ask Doc Rivers).

Let’s move on to the intangibles, the most important being leadership. Fisher is the calming force on this Laker team. When he was gone Kobe had no one to check him when he got out of line with his teammates. Since Fisher’s return, those episodes have greatly been reduced. He also sets the tone against “tough, physical teams” by letting them know the Lakers aren’t intimidated by anyone. Who can forget his “hit stick” on Luis Scola during their play...

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