Fisher in 2009
|No. 6 – Oklahoma City Thunder|
August 9, 1974 |
Little Rock, Arkansas
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school||Parkview Arts and Science Magnet
(Little Rock, Arkansas)
|College||Arkansas–Little Rock (1992–1996)|
|NBA Draft||1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall|
|Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers|
|Pro playing career||1996–present|
|Number||2, 4, 37, 6|
|1996–2004||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2004–2006||Golden State Warriors|
|2007–2012||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2012||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|2013–present||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Derek Lamar Fisher (born August 9, 1974) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His NBA career has spanned more than 17 years, during which he has won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He currently serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).
Fisher played college basketball for the Arkansas–Little Rock Trojans, and he was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1996. He was selected by the Lakers with the 24th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He spent his first eight seasons with the franchise, and he won three consecutive league championships (2000–2002) with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Fisher signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors. He was later traded to the Utah Jazz, whom he helped lead to the Western Conference finals. Due to his daughter's health, he asked to be released from his contract in 2007. He rejoined the Lakers and won two more NBA titles. The Lakers in 2012 traded Fisher to the Houston Rockets, who bought out his contract and waived him. He subsequently played with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks before joining the Thunder again.
As of 2013, Fisher had played in 240 career playoff games, the second highest total in NBA history. While playing for the Lakers, he hit a buzzer beater with 0.4 seconds left in game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, which the NBA lists as the 18th-greatest playoff moment of all time.
He went on to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) 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.
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.
Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004)
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 2002–03, 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 over Shaquille O'Neal 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.
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)
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.
Speedy Claxton started more games than Fisher in 2004–05 season, and then newly-acquired point guard Baron Davis was a starter the following season. In the 2005–06 season, Fisher averaged 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. He has also been the color commentator for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA since July 1, 2008.
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. 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.
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. The Jazz honored his request.
Second run with Lakers (2007–2012)
After much speculation, on July 19, 2007, Fisher officially rejoined the Los Angeles Lakers by signing a three-year contract worth roughly $14 million. 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. Jazz fans have taunted him, suspecting that he simply wanted to return to the Lakers.
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.
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." 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. However, on July 12, 2010, he agreed to a three-year, $10.5 million deal with a player option in the third year to continue with the Lakers. Though their contract offer was not the most lucrative, Fisher considered it "the most valuable" option.
On March 15, 2012, Fisher was traded along with a 2012 first round draft pick to the Houston Rockets for Jordan Hill. The Lakers had decided to go younger when they acquired point guard Ramon Sessions earlier in the day. On March 19, he was waived by the Rockets, without ever playing for them, after he negotiated a buyout of his contract. After clearing waivers, he was eligible to sign with any team except the Lakers.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2012)
On March 21, 2012, after clearing the waivers at 6 pm Eastern time, Fisher signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the remainder of the 2011–2012 season. The Thunder organization called a pre-game press conference prior to its 7pm game to formally announce the signing of Fisher. He chose jersey number 37, his age at the time, because his usual No. 2 was taken by Thabo Sefolosha. Fisher made his Thunder debut on the very same night against the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 5 points. The Thunder advanced to the 2012 NBA Finals after defeating the Spurs in the Western Conference finals for Fisher's eighth career NBA Finals appearance.
Dallas Mavericks (2012)
On November 29, 2012, Fisher signed with the Dallas Mavericks. The team was in need of a point guard after a finger injury sidelined struggling starter Darren Collison. He wore No. 6, as he was told that No. 2—worn last in Dallas by Jason Kidd—was unavailable; the number signified his quest for a sixth championship. Fisher started in his first game with the Mavericks and Collison came off the bench in a 92–77 win over Detroit.
On December 20, Fisher injured the patellar tendon of his right knee, requiring an estimated two-week recovery time. Two days later, he was granted his request to be released by the Mavericks. He said the release was driven by the injury coupled with his priority to be close to his family. In nine games with the Mavericks, the team went 5–4, and he averaged 8.6 points and 3.6 assists in just over 25 minutes per game.
Return to the Oklahoma City Thunder (2013-present )
On February 25, 2013, Fisher re-signed with Oklahoma City for the remainder of the 2012–13 season. He filled the Thunder's opening for a third point guard after Eric Maynor had been traded. After being away from basketball, Fisher reflected on his career and decided to pursue the opportunity with the Thunder. He did not contact Dallas before signing with the championship contenders, which upset Mavericks officials. Fisher chose to wear No. 6 with Oklahoma City after wearing No. 37 the previous season.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2011)|
Phil Jackson said that Fisher was "definitely the spokesman for [the Lakers] as far as leadership goes."
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."
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|
Fisher was a player representative for the NBPA before becoming a member of the union's executive committee. He was elected 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. Jason Whitlock of Foxsports.com 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. 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. Hunter said his "relationship with Derek is very good. There was no confrontation."
Hunter later persuaded the union's executive committee to vote to request Fisher's resignation. Fisher did not resign and pushed for an outside investigation of the union. Hunter's leadership was criticized in the findings. During their annual meeting over the All-Star break in 2013, the union unanimously voted Hunter out as executive director. Fisher was re-elected as president; he was not on an NBA roster at the time, but remained eligible due to his stint earlier in the season with Dallas. In May 2013, Hunter sued Fisher and Jamie Wior, Fisher's publicist and business partner, seeking compensation and punitive damages. The suit claimed that Fisher had a secret deal with NBA owners during the lockout.
In 2009, Fisher had a temporary restraining order placed on a 40-year-old female stalker, Symone Fisher, who had been victimizing him since 2001. She had insisted she and Derek Fisher were married, and had even changed her surname to match his. He had the order extended by three years, expiring in May, 2012.
In 2010, it was initially reported on an Oklahoma City radio station that Fisher was involved in an altercation at an Oklahoma City Waffle House. While he admitted he was a police witness to a fight that broke out between two customers at a Waffle House in Oklahoma City during a visit with the Lakers after a regular season game in 2009, Fisher denied having been a participant in the latest allegation, which he labeled as false.
Fisher's nickname is D-Fish. He acquired his nickname while playing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- 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
- National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)
- "NBA & ABA Career Playoff Leaders and Records for Games", Basketball-Reference.com
- "The 60 Greatest Playoff Moments: Nos. 11–20". NBA.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- NBA.com Derek Fisher Bio Page
- "Rob Pelinka". DraftExpress LLC. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Fisher Fellows Life Skills Program
- Lakers shock Spurs with Game 5 miracle
- "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."
- Hollinger, John (May 10, 2007). "Fisher delivers in every way". ESPN. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- "Fisher leaves Jazz to focus on daughter's cancer treatment". ESPN. July 3, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- Fisher leaves Jazz to focus on daughter's cancer treatment – updated July 2, 2007
- Fisher hopes return to L.A. will soften Bryant's trade demands
- Fisher returns to Lakers after 3 season hiatus
- Siler, Ross (October 27, 2007). "Wildfires and Derek Fisher". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on September 15, 2011.
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- Plaschke, Bill (June 12, 2009). "Derek Fisher cements status in Lakers lore with nothing but class". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- Kingston, Paul (September 8, 2009). "Derek's Book, Character Driven, Released Today". http://www.derekfisher2.com/. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- Carr, Janis (February 14, 2010). "Who knew? Fisher hits 1,000th 3-pointer". The Orange County Register. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- Trudell, Mike (February 10, 2010). "Fisher Beats Bryant to 1,000 ... By a Game". Lakers.com Basketblog. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- Thomsen, Ian (June 9, 2010). "Young-at-heart Fisher takes direct path to being Lakers' Game 3 hero". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
- "Statement from Derek Fisher". derekfisher2.com. July 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- 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.
- "Rockets Make Pair Of Deadline Deals". NBA.com. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
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- "Derek Fisher: Former Lakers guard to sign with the Thunder upon clearing wavers". NewsOk.com. 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- Carr, Janis (March 22, 2012). "Fisher sends the Lakers message with his No. 37". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on December 3, 2012.
- "Mavericks sign free-agent guard Derek Fisher; Waive Troy Murphy". nba.com. November 29, 2012. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012.
- "Mavericks to sign veteran guard Fisher". nba.com. Associated Press. November 28, 2012. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012.
- Caplan, Jeff (November 29, 2012). "Adding Fisher Illustrates Mavs’ Deep Flaws At Point Guard". nba.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012.
- Townsend, Brad (November 30, 2012). "Derek Fisher will wear No. 6 with Mavericks; Kidd’s No. 2 ‘unavailable’". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Caplan, Jeff (February 25, 2013). "FISHER JOINS THUNDER AFTER SHAFTING MAVS". NBA.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013.
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- "Thunder Signs Derek Fisher". NBA.com. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
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- Sandomir, Richard (October 18, 2011). "Derek Fisher, Champion Point Guard and Face of the Players Union". The New York Times. p. B18. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011.
- Whitlock, Jason (October 29, 2011). "Is Fisher in Stern's back pocket?". FoxSports.com (Fox Sports Interactive Media). Archived from the original on November 1, 2011.
- Beck, Howard (November 2, 2011). "Fisher Fights Back Against Reports". The New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
- Stein, Marc (November 1, 2011). "Derek Fisher defends loyalty in letter". ESPN.com (ESPN Internet Ventures). Archived from the original on November 1, 2011.
- Whitlock, Jason (November 1, 2011). "Fisher in denial over labor rift". FoxSports.com (Fox Sports Interactive Media). Archived from the original on November 1, 2011.
- "Billy Hunter unanimously voted out". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Slater, Anthony (February 26, 2013). "Spurned Mavericks comment on Derek Fisher’s signing with OKC". The Oklahoman. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Zillgitt, Jeff (May 16, 2013). "Fired Billy Hunter sues NBPA, President Derek Fisher". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
- "Suit filed against Derek Fisher". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 16, 2013. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013.
- Burns, Marty (June 6, 2001). "For L.A.'s Fisher, comebacks are in the genes". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Los Angeles Lakers' Derek Fisher seeks restraining order – ESPN
- Los Angeles Lakers' Derek Fisher gets restraining order against alleged stalker extended – ESPN
- 2010 NBA Playoffs: Lakers' Derek Fisher denies Waffle House fight reports in Oklahoma City – ESPN Los Angeles
- Jackson, Phil (2004). The Last Season: A Team in Search of its Soul. Penguin Press. ISBN 1-59420-035-1.
- Official Web Site of Derek Fisher
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com