Top 8 Moments of Derek Fisher's L.A. Lakers Career
No matter how vastly the Los Angeles Lakers improved their point guard situation by acquiring Ramon Sessions during the trade deadline, every Laker fan felt their hearts sink when they heard that Derek Fisher had been shipped to Houston.
Fisher needs no introduction.
His leadership, intangibles and clutch value cannot be matched by anybody else. His five rings are a testament to his work ethic and ability to stay cool under pressure.
Some of the most memorable moments in Laker history came as a result of Fisher's awe-inspiring ability to come through when it mattered. Even if Fisher had an atrocious ball game, he would rise above the occasion with under a minute left.
Here are the eight greatest moments of Derek Fisher's career in a Laker uniform.
8. Fisher's Layup Beats the Clippers
Rather than going with Kobe Bryant, they went with Old Faithful.
Derek Fisher took the ball and drove through the lane—highly uncharacteristic of him at that stage of his career. He let go of the ball with one-tenth of a second left on the clock and drained it for a Lakers' victory.
7. Fisher Body Checks Luis Scola
The 2009 Western Conference Semifinals between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers was a chippy one.
The Rockets took the Lakers to seven games filled with numerous altercations—many of which involved Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant.
One of the most memorable ones came between Derek Fisher and Luis Scola in Game 2. The Lakers had lost Game 1 of the series and they needed a spark and some motivation after a complacent performance.
Fisher helped fire things up in the series when he gave Scola a hard foul which knocked him to the ground to show the Rockets that the Lakers weren't going to get pushed around anymore.
The Lakers went on to win the series in seven games and eventually win the title.
6. Dunk on Allen Iverson in NBA Finals
Who said Derek Fisher can't dunk?
In the 2001 NBA Finals, a younger Fisher dribbled down the court with Allen Iverson chasing him. Rather than laying it up, he dunked it home dramatically over the league's best point guard at the time.
The Lakers ended up winning the series 4-1 for their second consecutive championship.
5. Old Faithful Does It Again
If there's one guy that Kobe Bryant was comfortable deferring to, it was Derek Fisher.
In what turned out to be the last clutch moment of his Laker career, D-Fish sank a game-winning three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in a crucial litmus test this season against the Dallas Mavericks.
The game was low scoring and points were hard to come by, but it didn't matter for Fisher. The moment called for him to make a big bucket and he didn't disappoint.
4. Clutch Three in Playoff Game vs. Utah
The Los Angeles Lakers faced the Utah Jazz for the third consecutive year in the playoffs in 2010. They had been defeated in the previous two seasons and they were up 2-0, hoping to take a commanding lead.
Down 106-108 with under a minute to go, Fisher received the ball from Kobe behind the arc and didn't hesitate at all. He shot the ball and drained it like he had many times before.
The Lakers eventually won the game, swept the series and went on to win the title.
3. Clutch Threes in 2009 NBA Finals
The Lakers definitely got a bit lucky in this one.
Howard somehow managed to miss both shots from the charity stripe. The Lakers took control with the clock winding down. Derek Fisher came up and took a potential game-tying three-pointer and made it to tie the game.
Later in overtime, Fisher knocked down another huge three to give the Lakers a lead they would not relinquish.
They took a 3-1 series lead and closed out the series in the following game.
Does this shot need any backstory?
There were three straight clutch shots made by three different legends in one night. Kobe made one to take a 72-71 lead with just over 10 seconds left. Tim Duncan gave the Spurs the lead back with 0.4 left on an impossible shot.
It seemed like the Spurs had won.
However, Derek Fisher made the even more unlikely shot as the Lakers won and eventually took the series.
Fisher only had eight points that night, but two of those eight were easily the most dramatic in Lakers history.
1. The Hero in Boston
When the Los Angeles Lakers dropped Game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center to the Boston Celtics, they knew they were going to have to win in enemy territory.
It wasn't going to be an easy task. The TD Garden crowd in Boston is one of the most energetic and boisterous in the league.
The Lakers had to win in Boston and there is no doubt about it that they wouldn't have won Game 3 if it wasn't for Derek Fisher's heroics. He scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter that night, including a remarkable sequence where he took the ball and drove past four defenders to the hole and earned a foul.
After the game, Fisher was very emotional in his interview.
If the Lakers hadn't won that game, there's a good chance they would've lost the series and Boston would have still been Kobe's Kryptonite.