Playing in Los Angeles, the similarities to Hollywood films are sometimes too easy to make. And right now, the Lakers are built like Academy Award winning film Forrest Gump. Besides winning the award for Best Movie, the film also received awards for Best Director and Best Actor, so substitute Robert Zemeckis with Phil Jackson and Tom Hanks with Kobe Bryant, and you’re almost there.
You can replace the great supporting cast of characters like Jenny, Lieutenant Dan and Bubba with players like Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom, and you have a similar makeup. But you’re still missing something – the glue that holds the story together. In the movie the glue was Sally Field who played Forrest’s mom, but for the Lakers it is Derek Fisher.
Derek Fisher isn’t really the team’s mother figure, but he is the elder statesman. At age 35, Fisher continues to compete at a high level and to help the Lakers continue to win. But it’s not necessarily just by assists like your typical point guard; he does it by leadership, defense and timely big shots.
One of the best lines in the film is when Forrest tells the lady at the bus stop, “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'” And the same could be said about the Lakers. Sometimes L.A. looks like an unstoppable force poised to win a championship, while at other times, they struggle and take their talent for granted. With all that being said, you can guarantee one thing whenever you watch this year’s Lakers team: Derek Fisher is going to compete. He may not have the speed to stay in front of Russell Westbrook, the footwork to keep Deron Williams out of the lane, or even the swiftness to stop Steve Nash, but all three of those guys are watching him from home.
Whether the Lakers win the Championship or not, they know that they couldn’t have made it back to the Finals without Fisher; just like Forrest couldn’t have made it without his mother, Mrs. Gump.
What do you think?
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