The Power of “NO”: Los Angeles Lakers Derek Fisher’s Real Talent

Only one player on the Los Angeles Lakers can tell Kobe Bryant “no” and that man is Derek Fisher. Because of this ability, it makes the Lakers a better team.  

Why is the power of “no” so important? Because the rest of the Lakers players defer to Kobe like a big brother who rules the house. Only Fisher is capable of standing up to the superstar. And, I’m not talking about in the locker room or on the sideline. I’m talking about during a game, in the flow of the Lakers' offense.


Phil Jackson’s triangle offense is predicated on flow and ball movement. It’s probably the least scripted offense in the history of the game. I call it the non-structured, structured offense. The Lakers don’t run that many plays because the triangle allows for a multitude of options on any given possession. That is why the offense is both complex and simple all in one. The triangle is based on “read and react,” to quote Jackson, and no one does it better than the Lakers’ point guard, Derek Fisher.


But Fisher’s real talent is his ability to go away from Kobe Bryant in the triangle. Especially before the fourth quarter, Fisher has both the respect from Kobe and superior knowledge of the triangle to pass the ball away from Kobe’s direction in favor of a better matchup and to expedite offensive flow.  


Sometimes, during the course of a game, the ball can have a tendency to stop when it reaches Kobe. Down the stretch or when the Lakers desperately need a bucket, that is a good thing. But at the start of the game and, especially to get his teammates involved early, that inhibits the Lakers’ offense. Fisher understands this.  


Time and time again, Fisher will send the ball in the opposite direction of Kobe, even when he is demanding the pass. Any other Lakers pla...

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