It’s official. Derek Fisher is the luckiest man in all of sports. He just signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder a.k.a. The Zombie SuperSonics. One can only imagine Fish sporting one of those grins that’s impossible to wipe off your face. And he wants stick it to Lakers management. Big time.
It’s a fitting end to the out-of-nowhere deal that sent him to the Houston Rockets for Jordan Hill. After being bought of his contract, Fish will now go to Oklahoma City, and from 3rd place in the Western Conference to 1st place. He goes from the contender Lakeshow to the favorites: The Thunder. Instead of playing alongside Kobe, Gasol & Bynum, he’ll play with Durant, Westbrook & Harden. It’s a considerably younger and more hungry trio than the one he just left in LA. And it’s as if Mitch Kupchak just opened the door and said to Fisher: “There’s the fountain of youth, now go have yourself a drink. And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.” Sucker.
What’s ironic is that the Lakers were looking for somebody quicker, somebody younger to run the point. And they got it in Ramon Sessions. His fast-forward drives to the basket are something the Lakers and their fans haven’t seen in years. Something that was in the rear view mirror with Fish starting at point guard. But Sessions has already shown glimpses of what a lot of the teams in the NBA are showcasing on a nightly basis: Explosive speed and the ability to dish to the open teammate. Fisher wasn’t capable of that. And Fisher wasn’t getting any younger.
Kupchak dealt Fisher, and the Lakers fans cried foul. A distinct turnaround from earlier in the season, when anyone could listen to caller after caller on the local sports talk stations screaming for the head of Derek Fisher. “He’s too old!” “He’s not productive anymore!” “He can’t defend!” morphed into “He’s a leader!” “He’s clutch!” and “He’s the only guy Kobe will listen to!”
Well now we all get to see how this plays out. Undoubtedly Sessions’ ability will show the Lakers fans that it’s in their best interest going forward. And Fisher will likely have moments in OKC where the opposing point guard flies by and scores the go-ahead bucket. But it would no doubt turn into one of the most memorable moments in sports to see a Conference Finals Game 7 between the Lakers and the Thunder coming down to the wire with Fish firing up a three. And personally I don’t even want to see the basket. I want the camera to zoom in on Mitch Kupchak’s face in the box suite. His reaction will tell the whole story.