Derek Fisher is Lakers’ little big man in the postseason
Here I’m thinking as old as he is, maybe Tony Bennett or Billy Joel sings it, Derek Fisher talking about “All I Do Is Win,” a song that says it best about what he’s done and continues to do for the Lakers.
Then he drops DJ Khaled on me, and if I ever learn how to use an I-Pod, I’m sure he or she will be on it, reminding me how much fun it is to watch Fisher pick apart an opponent.
I know, I know — he’s finished, the weak link in the Lakers’ starting lineup, every point guard in the league taking advantage of him, and you hear it so often you start to believe it.
But here are the Lakers poised to advance to the NBA Finals again, something they have done with regularity with Fisher at point guard, his toughness and attention to detail as critical to the Lakers’ cause as Kobe Bryant’s brilliance and Pau Gasol’s skill.
How many times has he taken a charge to change the momentum, or knocked down a critical three, as he did in the fourth quarter against the Suns?
Ron Artest took the bow for the game-winner, but Fisher has been there and done that so many times before, his 22 points in Game 5 not bad for a guy who has lost a step.
“I play against guys like Deron Williams and Steve Nash, guys who average something like 18 points and 15 assists, and they don’t get the numbers just against me; that’s what they average against the league,” Fisher says.
“They are very good players, All-Stars and I can’t outduel them at what they do, so I always just stay focused on the team aspect of things.”
Maybe so, but he sells himself short. Fisher has also proved himself to be a very good player, the top coach in the history of the NBA in Phil Jackson recognizing Fisher’s team-first focus.
Fisher scored five of the Lakers’ final 11 points before Artest got the chance to make the Lakers’ winners. He went six for six from the free-throw line, and remained a pest, a nuisance and a charge ready to be taken once again.
“I think for most of my career, even as a kid, I was never the best guy on the team or even the best two or three,” he says. “But I was always a team guy, a guy that kept everything together.”
Look at the way the playoffs have gone, and despite the so-called hole at point guard, the Lakers are 11-4 in the playoffs.
“It’s been a big motivator,” Fisher says, “a good reason why I continue to try and elevate my game. Even though the criticism weighs on me at times, it’s what keeps pushing me.”
All together now, as the song goes, “All I do is win, win, win no matter what.”
I ASKED Phil before Game 5, “are you nervous or worried?”
“I’m very nervous and quite worried,” he replied.
WHATEVER THAT was Flea & Co. were playing, it was not the national anthem. It was not only unrecognizable, but it left the Staples Center crowd flat.
IN ANTICIPATION of the Lakers’ being introduced in this big, big game, the lights went out and bed sheets dropped from the overhead scoreboard. It was supposed to be a dramatic moment, excitement building in the place, and so what did the fans get — an advertisement promoting some movie to open in theaters June 25.
It seems a tad bit tacky for a first-class organization such as the Lakers, but then so do the human billboards, otherwise known as the Laker Girls.
NOTHING LOOKS more out of place at this playoff time of year than a bunch of people dressed in Clippers jerseys.
The idea was to get Clippers’ fans together before Game 5, and let LeBron James know they want him, all 12 or so of them when I was there showing LeBron the kind of crowd the Clippers usually draw.
They tell me the group mushroomed later to almost 50, but who would want to join an organization that just reminded everyone it can’t do anything right when it won’t pay former coach Mike Dunleavy what he’s owed?
You get that many Clippers fans in once place, however, and you’d think someone from the organization would step to the microphone other than Clipper Darrell.
It seems as if almost every other team in the league is getting fined these days for talking about LeBron, but given the chance to show some life to their faithful, they chose to avoid being fined. They could have paid the fine with the money they saved not paying Dunleavy.
THE DODGERS have parted ways with Jon Lovitz, cancelling his season tickets and demanding $95,400 from him, all in all, a messy divorce.
NICE TO see Bill Walton at the game following news he will broadcast some games for the Sacramento Kings next season. As he says, “He’s back in the game of life.”
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