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Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher.jpg
Los Angeles Lakers  – No. 2
Point guard
Born August 9, 1974 (1974-08-09) (age 35)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
League NBA
Salary $5,048,000
High school Parkview Arts and Science Magnet
College Arkansas-Little Rock
Draft 24th overall, 1996
Los Angeles Lakers
Pro career 1996–present
Former teams Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004, 2007-Present)
Golden State Warriors (2004–2006)
Utah Jazz (2006–2007)
Awards NBA Champion
(2000, 2001, 2002, 2009)
Profile Info Page

Derek Lamar Fisher (born August 9, 1974) is an American professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, whose NBA career has spanned more than 14 years.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Fisher started out his basketball career at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the university.[citation needed] For his achievements at the university, he was rewarded as the Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year. Selected the twenty-fourth draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1996 NBA Draft, Fisher spent his first eight seasons with the franchise. During this time, he played a role in the Laker's "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 opted out of his contract and signed with the Golden State Warriors. After his stint with Golden State, Fisher was traded to the Utah Jazz, where he enjoyed success and 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.[1] In 2009, he won his fourth NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. Only he and Kobe Bryant have played in all four of the Lakers' most recent championships.

Fisher has won four NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and is one of only four active players to have won four NBA Championships. In the past decade, he has played the most NBA Playoff Games (149) and played the tenth most Playoff minutes (4,221). Fisher has the highest cumulative three-point percentage in NBA Finals history. He ranks third all time in NBA Finals three pointers made (41), one shy of Michael Jordan for second all-time behind Robert Horry. He has the second highest three point field goal percentage in NBA Finals history (46.1%), trailing only Ray Allen. The NBA listed his "0.4 Shot" as the 18th greatest playoff moment of all time.[2]

Contents

Early life

The younger brother of former NBA player Duane Washington,[3] 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 consistently 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 3rd 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.[4][5]

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.[6]

NBA career

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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.[4]

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 semi-finals between the Lakers and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. The series was tied 2-2, 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 an 18-foot shot in double coverage despite falling away from the basket 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. 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 had indeed left Fisher's hands before the clock expired. The "0.4" shot counted and the Lakers won.[7]

The Lakers went on to close 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, as some of the flaws in his game were exposed. 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, and struggled against quicker players. 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)

Derek 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 NBA Players Association, succeeding Antonio Davis. Fisher had previously served as vice president.[8] He has also been the color commentator for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA since July 1, 2008.

2007 Playoffs

Candance 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. It was not until a post-game interview after Game 2 that Fisher 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 New York's Presbyterian Hospital.[9]

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. Fisher arrived at the arena and entered the game in the middle of the third quarter to a standing ovation. Late in the fourth, Fisher made a 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.[10]

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 5 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.[9][11] The Jazz honored his request.[11][12]

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.[11][12] 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. 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 hightest 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."[13] 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.

NBA career statistics

Legend
  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

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
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 47 47 27.1 .375 .352 .873 2.4 2.7 1.1 .1 7.1
Career 993 562 26.1 .403 .374 .815 2.2 3.2 1.1 .1 9.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1996–97 L.A. Lakers 6 0 5.7 .273 .000 .667 .5 1.0 .2 .0 1.3
1997–98 L.A. Lakers 13 13 21.4 .397 .300 .621 1.9 3.8 1.3 .0 6.0
1998–99 L.A. Lakers 8 8 29.8 .418 .345 .800 3.6 4.9 1.0 .0 9.8
1999–00 L.A. Lakers 21 0 15.3 .430 .414 .760 1.0 2.0 .5 .1 4.7
2000–01 L.A. Lakers 16 16 36.0 .484 .515 .765 3.8 3.0 1.3 .1 13.4
2001–02 L.A. Lakers 19 19 34.2 .357 .358 .786 3.3 2.7 1.0 .1 10.2
2002–03 L.A. Lakers 12 12 35.3 .520 .617 .818 3.0 1.8 1.5 .1 12.8
2003–04 L.A. Lakers 22 0 23.0 .405 .418 .657 2.5 2.2 .8 .0 7.5
2006–07 Utah 16 14 27.8 .405 .375 .933 1.6 2.6 1.0 .1 9.5
2007–08 L.A. Lakers 21 21 31.6 .452 .440 .836 2.2 2.5 2.0 .1 10.2
2008–09 L.A. Lakers 22 22 28.9 .394 .284 .861 2.0 2.2 .9 .1 8.0
Career 176 125 27.1 .423 .408 .794 2.3 2.6 1.1 .1 8.7

References

External links

Preceded by
Antonio Davis
National Basketball Players Association President
November 19, 2006–
Succeeded by
Current

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