It has been an emotional couple of weeks for five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher as he went from aiming for a sixth ring alongside Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers to coming off the bench for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Fisher still has a great chance, and potentially a better chance, of winning another ring this season with the Thunder, but his heart has always and will always be in Los Angeles.
With the Oklahoma City Thunder coming to town on Thursday night, Derek Fisher will return to Los Angeles to take on his old team for the first time since being traded by the Lakers on March 15. This will no doubt be a tough game for those involved like Fisher, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but a game that needs to and will be played nonetheless.
Fisher was recently asked about the trade that sent him to the Houston Rockets before being bought out by the team and signing with the Thunder. The veteran point guard kindly refused to answer questions about the trade before his return to Los Angeles via Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:
“Obviously, life changes quickly and there’s a lot going on with the family, with my kids and those things,” Fisher told The Oklahoman. “But on the court and around this team — the community in Oklahoma City — it’s everything and more than I imagined in terms of how good it would be to be around these guys. From the first player to the 15th player, every guy has been great. All the coaches, everybody has just been wonderful to work with, so I’m looking forward to continuing this process, getting to know these guys better.”
It’s understandable that Fisher wouldn’t want to get into the trade made at the deadline by the Lakers with plenty of talk about the point guard tonight at Staples Center regardless. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Lakers organization decides to have a montage of Derek Fisher’s playing days in L.A. during halftime like they did with Lamar Odom when he returned to Staples Center as a member for the Dallas Mavericks.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Lakers will do something to commemorate Fisher’s contributions to the franchise tonight and he will no doubt get a lot of love from the hometown crowd as there are many Lakers fans that already miss the five-time champ in purple and gold.