Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher
No. 2   Los Angeles Lakers
Point guard
Personal information
Date of birth August 9, 1974 (1974-08-09) (age 37)
Place of birth Little Rock, Arkansas
Nationality American
High school Parkview Arts and Science Magnet
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
College Arkansas-Little Rock (1992–1996)
NBA Draft 1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Pro career 1996–present
Career history
19962004 Los Angeles Lakers
2004–2006 Golden State Warriors
2006–2007 Utah Jazz
2007–present Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Derek Lamar Fisher (born August 9, 1974) is an American professional basketball point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His NBA career has spanned more than 14 years, during which he has won five NBA Championships. He currently serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).[1]

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Fisher started out his basketball career at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Selected with the twenty-fourth pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1996 NBA Draft, Fisher spent his first eight seasons with the franchise. During that time, he played a role in the Lakers' "three-peat", and was the third-leading scorer on the team behind Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. After his success with Los Angeles, Fisher signed with the Golden State Warriors, but was later traded to the Utah Jazz, where he helped lead the team to the Western Conference Finals. Due to his daughter's health, he asked to be released from his contract and rejoined the Lakers in 2007.[2] In 2010, he won his fifth NBA Championship with the Lakers. Only he and Kobe Bryant have played in all five of the Lakers' most recent championships.

As of 2011, Fisher had played in 209 career playoff games, the fourth highest total in NBA history.[3] He ranks second all time in NBA Finals three-pointers made (43), behind former teammate Robert Horry. He has the highest three-point field goal percentage in NBA Finals history (42.6%). The NBA listed his "0.4 Shot" as the 18th-greatest playoff moment of all time.[4]


Early life

The younger brother of former NBA player Duane Washington,[5] Fisher attended the Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, where he was a letterman in basketball.

He went on to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years, with a major in communications. Fisher concluded his collegiate career at Arkansas-Little Rock second on the school’s all-time lists in points (1,393), assists (472) and steals (189). He averaged 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 112 games and led the team in assists and steals every year. Fisher also set a school record for free throws made in a career (399) and ranked third among all-time UALR leaders in three-point field goals made (125). As a senior, he earned Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year honors after averaging 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.[6][7]

In 2005, Fisher pledged $700,000 to UALR towards the construction of its Jack Stephens Center auxiliary gym, since named in his honor, and the establishment of the Fisher Fellows Life Skills program, a mentoring series for UALR student-athletes.[8]

NBA career

Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004)

Fisher was selected 24th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and spent his first eight seasons with them.[6]

He made his NBA debut in an early season game against the Phoenix Suns, tallying 12 points and five assists. Over the course of his rookie season, Fisher appeared in 80 games, averaging 3.9 points, 1.5 assists and 1.2 rebounds. He was selected to the Schick Rookie Game during the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland and had 16 points and six assists.

Due to a stress fracture in his right foot, Fisher missed 62 games out of the 2000–01 season. By the 2002–03 season, Fisher had firmly established himself as the Lakers' primary point guard, starting in all 82 games. But after the team was eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals by the eventual champion Spurs that spring, followed by the signing of veteran point guard Gary Payton in the summer, Fisher was demoted back to the bench for the 2003–04 season.

The 0.4 shot

One of Fisher's finest playoff moments came in Game 5 (May 13, 2004) of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals between the Lakers and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. The series was tied at 2, and Game 5 was a closely contested affair. With 11 seconds remaining, Kobe Bryant hit a jump shot to put the Lakers up 72–71. Tim Duncan then made a fadeaway 18-footer despite being double-teamed to give the Spurs a 73–72 lead with 0.4 seconds on the clock.

To devise strategies, three consecutive time-outs were called: the first by the Lakers, the second by San Antonio to set up the defense, and the last by the Lakers to re-set up the offense. When the game resumed, Gary Payton inbounded the ball to Fisher, who managed to catch, turn, and shoot the game-winning basket all in 0.4 seconds. Fisher sprinted off the court, as he later admitted he was uncertain he beat the buzzer and wanted to exit before the play could be reviewed. The Spurs immediately filed a dispute regarding the shot and after reviewing video footage of the play, the referees concluded that the ball indeed left Fisher's hands before the clock expired. The "0.4" shot counted and the Lakers won the game 74–73.[9]

The Lakers closed out the Spurs in Game 6. They proceeded to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves to clinch the Western Conference championship, but were upset in the NBA Finals by the Detroit Pistons 4 games to 1.

Golden State Warriors (2004–2006)

After the 2003–04 season, Fisher became a free agent. Although he was popular, the Lakers viewed him as a role player, and with the additions of veterans Gary Payton and Karl Malone the previous summer, Fisher had been removed from the starting lineup and saw his playing time reduced to 18–20 minutes a game. In addition, the Lakers team that Fisher was familiar with had disintegrated after the 2003–04 season. Head coach Phil Jackson retired and center Shaquille O'Neal had been traded to the Miami Heat, while Kobe Bryant threatened to opt out of his contract and most of the remaining Lakers squad was traded away in the opening phases of a rebuilding effort. During contract negotiations, the Lakers offered Fisher $15 million over three years. In contrast, the Golden State Warriors offered Fisher $37 million over six years and guaranteed him a role as the team's starting point guard.

On July 16, 2004, Fisher signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent. Fisher's two-season term with Golden State proved to be somewhat of a disappointment. While he was a reliable spot-up shooter, Fisher saw limited openings without a star player such as Bryant or O'Neal to command a double-team. The team as a whole continued to struggle mightily and languished near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Fisher had stated that his primary reason for joining the Warriors was the chance to run his own team as its starting point guard. However, Speedy Claxton started more games than he had in 2004–05 season, and then newly-acquired star Baron Davis soon replaced him in that capacity. Fisher came off the bench for the remainder of his time in Golden State. In the 2005–06 season, he was productive in his back-up role, averaging 13.3 points a game, the highest season scoring average of his career.

Utah Jazz (2006–2007)

Fisher was acquired by the Utah Jazz on July 12, 2006 in a trade that sent Keith McLeod, Andre Owens, and Devin Brown to the Golden State Warriors. He appeared in all 82 games of the 2006–07 season, averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.01 steals while scoring in double figures 40 times.

In November 2006, Fisher was voted President of the National Basketball Players Association, succeeding Antonio Davis. Fisher had previously served as vice president.[10] He has also been the color commentator for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA since July 1, 2008.

2007 Playoffs

Candace and Tatum Fisher at the White House in 2010

Several days before the Western Conference Semifinals between the Jazz and the Golden State Warriors began, Fisher stated that one of his four children was ill, avoiding going into further detail other than to say he needed to be with his family and his playing status was uncertain.

Fisher had asked head coach Jerry Sloan to leave him on the active list for Game 2, but could not guarantee he would make it in time to play. But with permission from their doctors, he and his family flew from New York after his daughter's surgery and landed in Salt Lake City with the game in progress. When they landed, Fisher found out starting point guard Deron Williams was in foul trouble and his backup Dee Brown had been injured. The Jazz had been using Andrei Kirilenko as a point guard and desperately needed Fisher. Given a police escort, Fisher arrived at the arena, suited up, and was given a standing ovation as he walked onto the floor. Not even given a chance to sit down, Fisher was put in the game in the middle of the third quarter. Late in the fourth, Fisher made a key defensive stop on Baron Davis that helped send the game into overtime. In the closing minutes, the Jazz held a three-point lead when Deron Williams found an open Fisher for a three-pointer that sealed the victory.[11] After the game, a tearful Fisher was interviewed, where he revealed the situation involving his then-11-month-old daughter, Tatum. She had been diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a degenerative and rare form of eye cancer, which required an emergency three-hour surgery and chemotherapy at a New York hospital.[12]

The Jazz eventually defeated the Warriors 4 games to 1, but fell to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals in five games. Fisher's dramatic Game 2 entrance and performance against the Warriors was nominated for Best Moment in the 2007 ESPY Awards.

On July 2, 2007, Fisher asked the Jazz to release him from his contract so he could relocate to a team and city that would have the "right combination" of specialists that could help fight his daughter's retinoblastoma.[13][14] The Jazz honored his request.[14][15]

Second run with Lakers (2007–present)

After much speculation, on July 19, 2007, Fisher officially rejoined the Los Angeles Lakers by signing a three-year contract worth roughly $14 million.[14][15] He had given up roughly $8 million over three years, as he was due about $22 million over the next three years in his prior contract with the Jazz. Jazz owner Larry Miller noted that "[i]t did look funny" that Fisher signed with the Lakers, but he did not believe Fisher or Lakers owner Jerry Buss would do anything underhanded.[16] Jazz fans have taunted him, suspecting that he simply wanted to return to the Lakers.[17]

When the 2007–08 season began, Fisher resumed his role as the Lakers' starting point guard. He contributed a solid season, shooting 40% from the three point range and 88% from the free throw line, the highest percentage of his career. He made a controversial defensive play in Game 4 of the Lakers-Spurs Western Conference Finals, when late in the game Fisher jumped into Brent Barry's path without a foul called, causing Barry to miss a potential game winning shot. The Lakers eventually ousted the Spurs 4–1, but lost the NBA Finals to Boston.

Fisher (left), Kobe Bryant (center) with Barack Obama (right) on January 25, 2010.

Throughout the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Fisher faced criticism about his age and lackluster defensive performances against younger, quicker opposing point guards. However, Fisher helped the Lakers win Game 4 over the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals, hitting a three pointer over Jameer Nelson with 4.6 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, and a tie-breaking three pointer with 31.3 seconds remaining in overtime to help send the Lakers to a 3–1 series lead and soon after, the franchise's 15th NBA title. Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times described these shots by stating, "After his two jaw-flooring three-pointers led the Lakers to a 99–91 overtime victory against the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, you'll now officially be seeing him forever."[18] Fisher's 11.0 points per game, 50% shooting average, and 44% three-point percentage over the course of the Finals were an improvement over his regular season numbers and a departure from his post-season struggles to that point. He had shot 23.5% from behind the three point line and 35.6% from the field in the three prior playoff series. This was Fisher's fourth NBA championship.

On September 8, 2009, Fisher released a book, Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball.[19] He is credited as the author of the book with Gary Brozek contributing. On February 3, 2010, Fisher made the 1,000th 3-pointer of his career against the Charlotte Bobcats.[20] On February 10, 2010, Fisher played his 1,000th career game against his former team, the Utah Jazz, beating Kobe Bryant to the milestone by one game.[21] On February 23, 2010, Fisher made the 9,000th point of his NBA career against the Memphis Grizzlies.

On June 8, 2010, in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Fisher played a pivotal role down the stretch to help the Lakers take a 2–1 series lead. In the 4th quarter, he scored 11 of his 16 points, including a 3-point-play lay-up that helped the Lakers wrap up a 91–84 road victory.[22] In Game 7, the Lakers came all the way back from a 13-point 3rd-quarter deficit when Fisher hit a critical 3-pointer to tie the game with 6:11 remaining. The Lakers ultimately defeated the Celtics 83–79, and Fisher went on to win his fifth NBA championship.

After his fifth Championship win, Fisher became a free agent, fielding offers from several teams, including the Miami Heat. On July 12, 2010, he agreed to a three-year, $10.5 million deal with a player option in the third year. Though their contract offer was not the most lucrative, Fisher considered it "the most valuable" option.[23][24]

Player profile

Jackson said Fisher was "definitely the spokesman for [the Lakers] as far as leadership goes."[25]

In a 2011 poll of NBA players by Sports Illustrated, Fisher received the fourth most votes, six percent, for being the best flopper in the game. "Fish takes the contact. He does draw and sell offensive fouls," Jackson said. "We're happy he does what he does."[26]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

1996–97 L.A. Lakers 80 3 11.5 .397 .301 .658 1.2 1.5 .5 .1 3.9
1997–98 L.A. Lakers 82 36 21.5 .434 .383 .757 2.4 4.1 .9 .1 5.8
1998–99 L.A. Lakers 50 21 22.6 .376 .392 .759 1.8 3.9 1.2 .0 5.9
1999–00 L.A. Lakers 78 22 23.1 .346 .313 .724 1.8 2.8 1.0 .0 6.3
2000–01 L.A. Lakers 20 20 35.5 .412 .397 .806 3.0 4.4 2.0 .1 11.5
2001–02 L.A. Lakers 70 35 28.2 .411 .413 .847 2.1 2.6 .9 .1 11.2
2002–03 L.A. Lakers 82 82 34.5 .437 .401 .800 2.9 3.6 1.1 .2 10.5
2003–04 L.A. Lakers 82 3 21.6 .352 .291 .797 1.9 2.3 1.3 .1 7.1
2004–05 Golden State 74 32 30.0 .393 .371 .862 2.9 4.1 1.0 .1 11.9
2005–06 Golden State 82 36 31.6 .410 .397 .833 2.6 4.3 1.5 .1 13.3
2006–07 Utah 82 61 27.9 .382 .308 .853 1.8 3.3 1.0 .1 10.1
2007–08 L.A. Lakers 82 82 27.4 .436 .406 .883 2.1 2.9 1.0 .0 11.7
2008–09 L.A. Lakers 82 82 29.8 .424 .397 .846 2.3 3.2 1.2 .1 9.9
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 82 82 27.2 .380 .348 .856 2.1 2.5 1.1 .1 7.5
2010–11 L.A. Lakers 82 82 28.0 .389 .396 .806 1.9 2.7 1.2 .1 6.8
Career 1110 678 26.3 .401 .375 .815 2.1 3.1 1.1 .1 8.8


1997 L.A. Lakers 6 0 5.7 .273 .000 0.667 .5 1.0 0.2 .0 1.3
1998 L.A. Lakers 13 13 21.4 .397 .300 .621 1.9 3.8 1.3 .0 6.0
1999 L.A. Lakers 8 8 29.8 .418 .345 .800 3.6 4.9 1.0 .0 9.8
2000 L.A. Lakers 21 0 15.3 .430 .414 .760 1.0 2.0 .5 .0 4.7
2001 L.A. Lakers 16 16 36.0 .484 .515 .765 3.8 3.0 1.3 .1 13.4
2002 L.A. Lakers 19 19 34.2 .357 .358 .786 3.3 2.7 1.0 .0 10.2
2003 L.A. Lakers 12 12 35.3 .520 .617 .818 3.0 1.8 1.5 .1 12.8
2004 L.A. Lakers 22 0 23.0 .405 .418 .657 2.5 2.2 .8 .0 7.5
2007 Utah 16 14 27.8 .405 .375 .933 1.6 2.6 1.0 .1 9.5
2008 L.A. Lakers 21 21 31.6 .452 .440 .836 2.2 2.5 2.0 .1 10.2
2009 L.A. Lakers 22 22 28.9 .394 .284 .861 2.0 2.2 .9 .0 8.0
2010 L.A. Lakers 23 23 32.8 .448 .360 .821 2.5 2.8 1.2 .0 10.3
2011 L.A. Lakers 10 10 32.5 .433 .412 .810 2.7 2.6 1.4 .2 8.2
Career 209 158 28.0 .427 .402 .798 2.4 2.6 1.1 .1 8.9

Players union

Fisher was a player representative for the NBPA before becoming a member of the union’s executive committee. He was elected as the union's president in 2006. He supported the NBA's referees during their lockout in 2009. During the 2011 NBA lockout, Fisher took a more active role than his predecessors, and he shared the lead with Billy Hunter, the union's full-time executive director.[27] Jason Whitlock of wrote that Fisher was privately working with Stern on a deal to accept a lower percentage of revenues for the players and that Hunter confronted Fisher about the issue.[28] In a letter to the players, Fisher called the reports questioning his loyalty "absurd" and demanded "a retraction for the libelous and defamatory stories" through his attorneys.[29][30] Hunter said his "relationship with Derek is very good. There was no confrontation."[30][31]

See also

  • List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff steals leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff 3-point scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played


  1. ^ National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)
  2. ^ Lakers' Derek Fisher Joins Sparks' Broadcast Team
  3. ^ "NBA & ABA Career Playoff Leaders and Records for Games",
  4. ^ "The 60 Greatest Playoff Moments: Nos. 11–20". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  5. ^ Burns, Marty (June 6, 2001). "For L.A.'s Fisher, comebacks are in the genes". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Derek Fisher Bio Page
  7. ^ "Rob Pelinka". DraftExpress LLC. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  8. ^ Fisher Fellows Life Skills Program
  9. ^ Lakers shock Spurs with Game 5 miracle
  10. ^ "Wiretap Archives: Fisher Voted President Of NBAPA". RealGM. 2006-11-11. Retrieved 2011-09-01. "The current CBA runs through 2011, so it is likely that his presidency will be very quiet and uneventful." 
  11. ^ Hollinger, John (May 10, 2007). "Fisher delivers in every way". ESPN. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Fisher leaves Jazz to focus on daughter's cancer treatment". ESPN. July 3, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ Fisher leaves Jazz to focus on daughter's cancer treatment – updated July 2, 2007
  14. ^ a b c Fisher hopes return to L.A. will soften Bryant's trade demands
  15. ^ a b Fisher returns to Lakers after 3 season hiatus
  16. ^ Siler, Ross (October 27, 2007). "Wildfires and Derek Fisher". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on September 15, 2011. 
  17. ^ Plaschke, Bill (May 8, 2010). "Treatment of Derek Fisher shows hypocrisy is a family value in Utah". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ Plaschke, Bill (June 12, 2009). "Derek Fisher cements status in Lakers lore with nothing but class". Los Angeles Times.,0,3417177.column. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  19. ^ Kingston, Paul (September 8, 2009). "Derek's Book, Character Driven, Released Today". Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  20. ^ Carr, Janis (February 14, 2010). "Who knew? Fisher hits 1,000th 3-pointer". The Orange County Register. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  21. ^ Trudell, Mike (February 10, 2010). "Fisher Beats Bryant to 1,000 … By a Game". Basketblog. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  22. ^ Thomsen, Ian (June 9, 2010). "Young-at-heart Fisher takes direct path to being Lakers' Game 3 hero". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Statement from Derek Fisher". July 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  24. ^ Turner, Broderick; Bresnahan, Mike (July 12, 2010). "Derek Fisher remains a Laker . . . for life, it would appear". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. 
  25. ^ Bresnahan, Mike (April 23, 2011). "Hopes of Lakers rise and fall with Andrew Bynum — literally". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 23, 2011. 
  26. ^ McMenamin, Dave (March 30, 2011). "Lakers a 'long shot' to catch Spurs". Archived from the original on April 2, 2011. 
  27. ^ Sandomir, Richard (October 18, 2011). "full-time executive director". The New York Times: p. B18. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. 
  28. ^ Whitlock, Jason (October 29, 2011). "Is Fisher in Stern's back pocket?". (Fox Sports Interactive Media). Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 
  29. ^ Beck, Howard (November 2, 2011). "Fisher Fights Back Against Reports". The New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Stein, Marc (November 1, 2011). "Derek Fisher defends loyalty in letter". (ESPN Internet Ventures). Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 
  31. ^ Whitlock, Jason (November 1, 2011). "Fisher in denial over labor rift". (Fox Sports Interactive Media). Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. 

Further reading

External links

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