Derek Fisher's Cheap Shot Deserved a Longer Suspension

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Derek Fisher's Cheap Shot Deserved a Longer Suspension
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

I have lost all respect for Derek Fisher as a basketball player.

His cheap shot on Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola was disgusting.

Fisher is a 13-year veteran and a three time champion. He is also the president of the Players' Union. He's been around long enough to know better.

Fisher was rightfully ejected for the hit and then suspended for Game Three, but the league should have been more severe. Fisher should have received further punishment for his stupidity.

Fisher's act tipped a game that had been simmering over the edge.

Fisher has played in enough playoff games to know that postseason basketball gets tough and sometimes rough. Hard fouls are acceptable; cheap ones aren't.

As expected, the Lakers increased their intensity for Game Two. They were surprised to be trailing their best-of-seven series 1-0. They couldn't afford a second loss at home. 

Houston are known to be a tough defensive team. Ron Artest and Shane Battier are hard-nosed and stifled Kobe Bryant in the series opener. Battier ended up with a severe gash to his head but didn't complain. He knows that, if you play hard, occasionally, you have to take the knocks.

It's part of the game.

Fisher's pile driving slug into Scola was streetball style. You can get away with shots like that when there aren't any referees or cameras watching. It was only made worse by TNT commentators Doug Collins and Kevin Harlan, who claimed that Fisher was being tough.

He wasn't.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson also looked foolish protesting Fisher's ejection. It's one thing to stand up for your players, but it's another to defend their brainless behaviour at a crucial point of the game.

Toughness isn't about belting a guy who isn't ready for it; toughness is remaining calm while others lose their cool.

Young guys look up to leaders to know what to do when things go wrong.

Fisher wasn't even fighting his own war. Nor can he hide under the pretense of sticking up for his teammates. Lamar Odom and Scola had clashed on an earlier play, but there was nothing in it. Scola fouled Odom and had tugged away at his shirt and they exchanged words.

Both Scola and Odom managed to put their handbags away before any lipstick was spilt.

Then Fisher, trying to act like a tough guy, turned himself into a fool.

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