NBA

Derek Fisher feature – Clutch King Fisher

Clutch This!

Five Mississippi…

Wearing a championship ring on the finger of his left hand but a stress fracture on his right foot, Derek Fisher has something to prove. The Laker legend he was drated alongside in the class of ’96, Kobe Bryant has started a new dynasty for the three-peat ages with Shaquille O’Neal and Coach Phil Jackson, beating the clutch of Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers for the first NBA champions of the new milleniuum in the brand, new STAPLES Centre. Still between critical injuries and minimal playing time behind the Harper’s of Derek or Ron, Fisher wants to show his storied L.A. Lakers and the Larry O’Brien round his finger that he can truly earn this elite, Hall Of Fame company. With everyone checking for Robert Horry and his clutch legendary greatness nobody saw the number 2. So taking off his ring like an adultering husband on the road and strapping his ankle, the ever loyal Derek wrapped a head band round his shaved dome and went to work. Swish, swish, shwish. That was all San Antonio and the rest of the swept Western Conference heard as Derek Fisher stepped up to every shot he knocked down in perfect twine, time. Robert Horry may have finished the games, but Derek Fisher’s hot microwave play started them like Vinnie Johnson in 60 seconds. Even in the Allen Iverson dominated finals-as L.A. beat the one man Boston Celtic, Laker killing show in Philadelphia-Fish’s headband even caught a dunk over those cornrows. Sure this was the Kobe or Shaq show as the trophies where rasied, but it was the Fisher dagger that truly went down and sank into the heart of the opposition and everyone who ever doubted him or wrote him off. Forgettable? Add an un-before that. With a finger to his lips it wasn’t just the Philly crowd that Derek Fisher told to be quiet. Everyone was silent.

Four Mississippi…

It was all good just a second ago thought Tim Duncan until it became darker than two days in November. Today the Robot doesn’t just take over the Admiral as the greatest San Antonio Spur of all-time. One of the two towers is also one of the greatest Basketball players the National Basketball Association or the world has ever seen. He’s top ten and he’s your all-time Power Forward in your starting five. His legacy is just that legendary. He almost crushed the Lakers like he did with David Robinson, along with those “boring” criticisms with a clutch 18 feet fadeway over the mountain of meat that was the 7 foot 1, 330 pound Shaquille O’Neal. Jordan would have been proud, still Timmy was heartbroken by the Lakers and one particular player all over again. As they said ‘One great shot deserves another’ and life can change in a blink of a second. Even 0.4 tenths of one. That’s when Derek Fisher changed it all. Changed those ‘yet-again’ criticism that he was done, a one hit wonder or a band wagoner, riding on his draft-mates ‘fro-tails. That’s when Derek Fisher proved his Point over brought in Hall Of Fame legend Gary Payton. That’s when he proved down the line his glove clutched on to more lasting shots. That’s when he proved he was truly a winner. Truly one for the last seconds or front pages, Robert Horry or not. Like Vlade Divac you better “check a paper or something”. ‘The Fish That Saved L.A.’ In one of the greatest shots and moments in NBA history from one of its greatest players. You can for sure put him in the Hall Of Fame with Big Shot Bog no debate. L.A. had two of the greatest playoff legends in their Shaq and Kobe dynasty and we’re not talking about O’Neal and Bryant right now. We’re talking about Horry and Fisher. Miracles do happen and they usually come from working class everyman you didn’t realise where so special until their own movie moments. This was real however. You better check the history books or something. File it under ‘0.4’.

Three Mississippi…

With a dynasty DEAD! O’Neal winning championships in Miami and Horry soon to be in San Antonio (of all places), the young prince Kobe was driving his little red corvette into brick walls with no one in the passenger seat. Not even his day one ally, who after some Warrior wars in Golden State made his way to Salt Lake City. The new Malone/Stockton era of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer needed that big-game playoff experience for Jerry Sloan. Still, with his daughter ill with cancer in a critical game for the Jazz, Derek was where he should have been with the Fisher family in New York at his daughters bedside. Then after a miracle at the hospital, another one happened again as Derek was cleared for take-off in more ways than one. Flying to Utah and then escorted by the flashing blue and red lights of the police service, Fisher made it to his prom-night on time. He shall have the ball in his possession when it mattered. When Deron was down in foul trouble, and back-up Dee Brown was backed up with injury, the “Fish that saved” was there. Arriving to a standing ovation in the third quarter and against his former team Golden State Warriors and their lead by lead talent Baron Davis, marking up it was time to go deeper and reach for something higher. Pointing his fingers to heaven and thanking the Lord for this moment and all that happened before, he knew what was going to happen next. Defensive stops and all the electric spark-plug charges he took that are part and parcel of his legendary role playing game-even if you don’t see it wrapped up on the box-score-Fisher made the big plays for the big comeback. Then with another big shot, BOOM came the big win. Then the tears of all sorts of emotions and exhaustion. Joy rained through the Delta Centre from clutch shots to ticker tape and celebrations that made their way all the way to the television set in a New York Hospital where Tatum Fisher was watching proud of daddy like he unspeakably was of her. That was for you little one.

Two Mississippi…

Tatum Fisher’s retinoblastoma, was a rare form of eye-cancer that was incredible enough to survive but also needed the help of specialists to truly recover. Specialists fittingly found in the City of Angels. With the Jazz’s blessing Derek Fisher returned to his home alongside Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, reunited with the great Zen master Phil Jackson too. There was a parade plan in process. It began with Kobe and Phil building bridges and then a true team with Sixth Man Legend Lamar Odom and next, great big-man Andrew Bynum. The blockbuster trade for European great and true second-option Pau Gasol and the clutching of valuable veteran and playoff punch legend Derek Fisher sealed the deal with the Basketball God’s for the Larry o’Brien engraving. Add some World Peace in Ron Artest later and we had a double dynasty. After some Celtic heartbreak that the storied, second-in-line Lakers are all too unfondly familair with, ballons would never fall on an empty floor again. After beating Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic, Fishers clutch buckets in overtime and beyond helped give Kobe and the Lakers their one-more than Shaq championship of Kobe’s revolution. Still it was the Celtic redemption in Boston that brought the real clutch heart and tears. Big play after big bucket came pouring out of the soul of this role playing superstar as Derek Fisher did more than just hit his trademark threes. His barely six-feet stature overcame a triple-team of Hall Of Famers in that Garnett, Pierce, Allen era on the lay-up line. In true Fisher history he drew the foul and then turned that play into a three from the line. It was the driven character like his autobiography that took him that deep into the color of the Celtic paint. On the canvas of his Basketball career there was no more doubt or critics, just more unbelievable bulletts in the gun. Even though it was no surprise as a tearful embrace with Bynum in the visiting locker room showed like the unthinkable seven game triumph over the leaders of hoops, this was one of Derek’s personal and greatest moments.

One Mississippi…

Still much to Kobe Bryant and the Laker faithfuls disdain, Fisher wouldn’t close out his his career with the Lake Show. Still, you best believe they’ll put his number 2 jersey up their with the Worthy and Magic greats. Marshon Brooks may as well give it up now. Traded for the inside damaging dreads of Jordan Hill and replaced by the brief Sessions of Ramon playing Derek deserved better and then he found it via Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the West best, Laker beating and Miami Heat championship chasing Oklahoma City Thunder. A team he still plays to these last days of his career, albeit with a brief Dallas Mavericks interlude that saw the wrong sort of headlines with Mark Cuban who was left madder than a waitress working a double with no tips. He didn’t want him, but LeBron James and his Miami Heat dynasty did, knowing full well he could even shoot down Jesus Ray Allen in the clutch. You best believe Kobe still does too, as much as he wants to play himself. Still the clutuch king that is Fisher seems to have found a home in OKC as more than just a bench pick-up of experience that can take the charge and lead the coaching from the playbboks to the play huddles. You may aswell give the former President Of The Playing Association the dry-erase now because he’ll make the perfect coach when his sneakers are finally hung after what will either be him and his friend Kevin or LeBron’s parade. You can tell from the words of advice he gives to his teammates or on his officaal websites eloquent, signature farewell blog of basketball beauty that it’s all about the X’s and O’s for this guy that leaves the heart and soul of his bicep honed basketball frame on the hardwood every night. Still, with every new Thunder strike, proving it can happen more than once, Fisher shows there’s still some clutch to add to the legacy of his legend down the halls of Basketball history. With the playoffs primed and his experience weathered ready for the Thunder who knows how many more big shots we’ll see fished. The leader is far from finished there’s still many more precious seconds that last a lifetime in the lifeblood of his classic career and what a better way to finish it then with one more shot, ring and wink to the opposition? To the new Mr. Clucth we salute. Five, four, three, two, one. This is your time. Seconds out…

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top