NBA Rumors: Derek Fisher Should Retire Instead of Signing with Cavaliers

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 11, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 17:  Derek Fisher #37 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 17, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

While it's never easy to end a playing career and ride off into retirement, Derek Fisher needs to bite the bullet and hang up his sneakers to tie the bow on his 17-year NBA career. 

Fisher has spent the vast majority of his time in The Association playing for contenders and winning rings, which would make landing with a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers hard to stomach for both Fisher and his fans. 

According to Fox Sports' Sam Amico, the Cavs are now the favorites to acquire the services of the lefty: 

The Cavs are considered the frontrunner for free agent guard Derek Fisher. A lot of folks figured Fisher, 37 years old and nearing the end of his career, would want to sign with a contender. But the offers from contenders aren’t out there.

If Fisher isn't drawing offers from the teams truly competing for a title, he needs to call it quits. As much as he loves the game of basketball, he'd be tarnishing his legacy to accept a minimal role on a team working its way out of the NBA cellar. 

Yes, the Cavs are on the upswing and could make the playoffs this year, but they are by no means a contender. If they somehow shocked the world and won the NBA title at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 season, it would be the most surprising victory in the history of the sport. 

Fisher must realize that the dearth of offers he's receiving is a sign. 

The aging point guard's PER is truly telling, as it's been declining for the last few years. The latest dip took him from 8.94 to 8.02 and marked the fourth-straight season in which he's experienced such a fall in the metric. 

Fisher has a place as a veteran in the locker room of a team fighting for a championship. He can provide the maturity and leadership that all of those teams need while hitting the occasional three-pointer. His experience in the big moments can be invaluable. 

However, after a number of poor decisions against the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals, teams have to question whether his performance off the court can negate his lack of assets between the sidelines. 

With enough rings to completely fill up one of his hands, Fisher doesn't have anything left to prove in the NBA. He's made his big shots and won his titles. 

It would be a shame for us to remember a completely and utterly washed up Fish lounging on the bench for the Cavaliers during a first-round exit from the playoffs, if the team even makes it that far. 

If his legacy is important to him, he needs to do the right thing and retire.