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Derek Fisher releases statement on signing with Thunder

Mar 21, 2012, 10:19 PM EDT

Derek Fisher, Eric Bledsoe AP

A statement from Derek Fisher gave a lot of us an odd flashback to the lockout, when as president of the players union he did that regularly, but he did it again upon signing with the Thunder.

Here is the statement, via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

“I am extremely honored to announce that I will join the Oklahoma City Thunder in pursuit of the 2011-2012 Championship. What these players, coaches and front office have created is special. My representatives and I had conversations and offers from several teams, however, this just feels right and this is a choice I am confident in.

I will earn my spot on this team and do whatever my teammates need me to do to get us to a championship. I will also lead to the best of my ability whether from the bench, in the locker room or on the court.

Thank you to my fans, friends and family that have reached out. While I am surprised by recent events, I look forward to contributing to the Thunder and continuing to play the game I love so much and have fought so hard to bring back.

To Kobe, Pau, Andrew, Matt, Steve, Devin, Darius, Josh, Drew, Troy, Metta, Luke, and Jason, and all my teammates in Los Angeles through the years, thank you for your friendship, for the camaraderie, for pushing me each and every day to achieve greatness and letting me lead you the best way I knew how. You each have a lifelong friend and supporter in me.

Los Angeles will always have a place in my heart, it will remain a home to my family and my businesses, but basketball will be played elsewhere and I look forward to seeing everyone on the court … even if it is in a different uniform.”

If you remember Fisher’s missives during the lockout, you remember that he was very good at getting his message through between the lines. If you read this, do you notice any mention of Lakers ownership or management? Exactly.

Fisher returns to Staples Center to take on the Lakers (with his new Thunder teammates) on March 29. You can bet Lakers fans will warmly embrace him.

  1. deluxe3333 - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    next thunder signee?…rick fox? wonder if stockhon is still taking calls…

  2. tomshoe - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Seeing Fisher in a Thunder uniform is just…weird.

    But good luck to the Thunder and the Lakers.

    Gonna be one awkward game when they meet though.

  3. savvybynature - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Hey Kurt, any chance you could mention the particulars of the contracts when players are signed? Would be interesting to know if some of these guys are getting multi-year deals.

    • therealhtj - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Pretty sure all the offers were vet minimum deals.

  4. addict2sport - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Why does the media keep saying that Fisher being on the bench if the Lakers kept him would cause problems? So it’s not going to be a problem when he’s on the OKC bench? Fisher would’ve provided the same tangibles to the Lakers off the bench, even with a reduced role, as he would provide to the Thunder. DFish is a competitor. He would have competed for minutes. He’s also a class act so there’s no way he’d be a distraction if he did not earn minutes. Easy to play armchair GM but I’d rather have DFish than Blake come playoffs.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:20 AM

      First, because Fisher would have been the third man on the Lakers bench, behind Sessions and Blake, he would rarely if ever have played. In OKC he is the number two guy, he gets run. Second, that is what Lakers people are saying off the record as a key reason (that and saving money).

      • 00maltliquor - Mar 22, 2012 at 2:40 AM

        Why couldn’t they just sit Blake as the 3rd PG or just have gotten rid of him to HOU instead? I know Fish wasn’t cutting it as a starter but I’d take him over Blake any day of the week. Especially come playoff time. He would be decent as a 12-15 min. a game 2nd string bench player. Nothing more nothing less. Blake is a waste of time and coach Brown is too stupid to figure that out.

    • davidly - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:13 AM

      Kurt won’t tell you, but the truth is simpler. “Sources” say such things; the team leaks that crap because it gives them cover. One or two reporters quote it, others copy and paste, and others claim it’s based upon conventional wisdom.

      But you have put your finger on it, addict2sport: Fisher always maintained quite the opposite; he was willing to play a reduced role last year, explicitly saying that he’d be happy to come off the bench AND play less minutes were Blake to get the nod.

      Regarding Fish having had been third string with the Lakers; if course not many are willing to analyze this for its worth and they just run with the “conventional wisdom” that DF is slow and old and his shooting percentage is down, etc.

      But Derek Fisher was starting over Blake. If pushed the sports analysist might tell you that the starting role is different than the backup role. True.

      But since Blake acquisition, and both this season and last, Fish has had a higher FG and 3 percentage than Blake and Fisher. They have had virtually the same assists per 36 AND the same asst/to ratio. In other words, Fish is better as a starter and a backup.

      Fisher was starting for a reason: Blake never panned out, and at the moment he is just holding the spot for Sessions.

      So why’d they dump him? See the astute comment by snoopy201 below. I also wouldn’t discount his role as Players’ Rep either.

  5. goforthanddie - Mar 21, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Someone needs to read that to Lamar Whordashian, and explain “this is how mature professionals handle their business”.

  6. jwocky1 - Mar 21, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Zero class

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 22, 2012 at 2:46 AM

      Wow, who was that directed too? I know that wasn’t for Fisher. (?)

  7. emaimo80 - Mar 21, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Who cares, he should retire. The rings he has are bc of Kobe. Heat will crush okc in the finals if they can get past the bulls.

    • rodgersmvp - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

      Have you seen the 0.4 second shot? Fisher pulled the Lakers through the fire numerous times in tough situations. Kobe trusted him for a reason, and Fisher is pretty underrated.

      • connaniii - Mar 22, 2012 at 7:44 AM

        Sort of a Jordan to Paxson venture!

      • therealhtj - Mar 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        If Fish could knock down shots like Paxson today, or for that matter at any stage of his career, he’d still be a Laker.

  8. snoopy2014 - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    I also see no acknowledgement of Mike Brown or the coaching staff. It lends some credence to the reports that Fisher was pushing to bring back the triangle, and Fish may feel Brown had a direct hand in the trade or pushed for it. Who knows.

    • davidly - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:13 AM


  9. slumdog66 - Mar 22, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Kobe got him all the championships? You are obviously a little slow. Shaq was finals MVP 3 times while with the lakers. Do some research before you make yourself sound like an idiot.

  10. solomon151 - Mar 22, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    Fisher was overrated the whole time. He rode the backs of Kobe and Pau for years. In fact this wasnt the first time the Lakers tried to get rid of him. The first time he complain so much in Utah that they just released him. Then you used his child’s Illness to go back to LA. Talking about his daughters eye treatment would be better there then in Utah. Where Utah has the best eye treatment centers in the country.

    • mrklutch - Mar 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      I’ll act like you didn’t post that.

    • 20dollardinners - Mar 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Overrated is tough because I don’t feel like he was ever discussed among the elite point guards of the league. I think he a solid, savvy veteran who made a fair number of clutch defensive and offensive plays down the stretch.

      Players fail or succeed largely based on the systems they are placed in. In the triangle – he was serviceable. Under Mike Brown – he had to go.

  11. granadafan - Mar 22, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Derek Fisher is a class guy and smart, but that statement clearly looks like it was written by his lawyer/ agent.

    • losangelasbasketball - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      wouldn’t be shocked if fish dropped that letter himself… all the cartiledge in his knees migrated to his dome over the years… so he can rap in legal speak….

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