Fisher quits Jazz to attend to daughter

Times Staff Writer

Derek Fisher has been released from his contract with the Utah Jazz to focus on finding medical care for his infant daughter, who has a rare form of cancer in one of her eyes.

Fisher, who will be 33 next month, has considered half a dozen cities, including Los Angeles, as possible places to move. He did not rule out retiring.

He had three years and about $21 million left on his contract, but his daughter, Tatum, had been occupying most of his thoughts. She was diagnosed this year with a cancerous tumor that could spread from her left eye to her brain or the rest of her body.

“Life for me outweighs the game of basketball,” Fisher said Monday in Salt Lake City.


Fisher spent eight seasons with the Lakers after being drafted in 1996. He left as a free agent in 2004 and was traded from Golden State to Utah before last season, when he averaged 10.1 points and 3.3 assists.

The Lakers are seeking a veteran ballhandling guard and could offer him up to approximately $5 million for next season, if he chooses not to retire.

“We’re going to have an open mind,” said Fisher’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. “It’s certainly something we’d look at, but I think we have to take some time to digest everything that’s happened.”