Derek Fisher’s Top 5 Moments As A Laker

03.29.12 5 years ago
Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher

Contrary to popular belief, Derek Fisher played for two other teams before being traded by the Lakers at the trade deadline March 15.

Even if he’s never been considered L.A.’s star, Fisher’s five title rings make you think “Lakers” instinctively upon hearing his name. It’s not that his three years in Golden State and Utah should be totally cast aside — he did pilot the Jazz to the conference finals in 2007, mind you, with his chilling mid-game entrance. It’s just his legacy, besides his headband-over-ears look, is that of a Laker.

Which makes tonight’s game against Oklahoma City, his new team, all the weirder for Kobe Bryant. “It’s going to be emotional, I’m sure, for everybody, him and I in particular,” Bryant said two days after Fisher was traded to the Rockets, then bought out. He then signed with OKC for the rest of this season and picked up a No. 37 uniform. It’s a reference to his age — kind of like how his No. 2 in purple and gold could be seen as a play on his being Kobe’s sidekick for more than 12 years since they came in as rookies together in 1996.

Here are Derek Fisher’s top five moments as a Laker.

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5,  Not an oldie but a goodie, and probably D-Fish’s last, best moment as a Laker. Back in January, Kobe catches the Dallas defense napping on Fisher under 10 seconds, and then Fisher catches Dirk Nowitzki stumbling on his close out to hit a game-winner.

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4, Kobe and Fisher are close, sure, but this shows how much so: With Kobe asking for the ball 25 feet from the hoop in December 2010 against the Clippers (B.C. “Lob City”), Fisher instead lofts a game-winner. The slow-motion shot later in the video is incredible, showing just how close A) it came before the buzzer and B) it came to being sent in the 10th row by DeAndre Jordan.

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3, Instead of tying the 2009 NBA Finals 2-2, Orlando let Fish get open two too many times late in Game 4. Fisher went cold-blooded with his game-tying three in regulation’s final seconds in front of Jameer Nelson, then dropped a three in OT to break a tie for the Lakers. They would go back to L.A. and seal Fisher and Kobe’s fourth title together in Game 5.

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2, His layup in Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals was one of the plays where you see it develop and still not believe it’s going to come off. Instead of pulling up to set the play, Fisher just kept going. He’s gotta pull up, right? RIGHT? Through Big Baby Davis, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. (Or rather, they went through him). It was part of 11 points by Fisher in the fourth quarter in the Lakers’ last title season.

Wrote the L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke:

Fisher drove right to the basket and took flight just as Garnett, Glen Davis and Ray Allen all converged on him. They collided in mid-air. Fisher dropped to the floor.
Just as the ball was dropping in the basket. Just as a dagger was going through a heart. Just as the biggest moment in a second consecutive NBA Finals was being stolen by the smallest presence in the gym.
“They swallowed him up,” said teammate Luke Walton with an amazed grin. “But he came out huge.”
Bigger than ever he is, this creaky Lakers leader who has once again saved a game that his longtime running mate and much brighter star named Kobe Bryant could not.

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1, What can you do in 0.4 seconds? Stop, time’s up. Fisher hit one of the biggest playoff shots in history in Game 5 of the 2004 playoffs against San Antonio. It’s one of the few shots that could have topped Tim Duncan‘s also-incredible fade-away, one-leg kick jumper from 19 feet that preceded it. Go out to your driveway and try to recreate this.

Where does his 0.4 shot rank all-time?

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