Former Laker and seven-time NBA Champion Robert Horry has never shied away from taking the big shot in a big game. He’s also not afraid to speak his mind and tell you that his former team is in desperate need of a new point guard and would be wise to replace the long running Derek Fisher with a younger model.
"I think they need another good point guard,” Horry told the Los Angeles Times. “No disrespect to Derek Fisher. But Derek is long in the tooth. I've been there, done that. I understand that. They need to get a point guard who can distribute the ball, get people in order and not be afraid to tell Kobe [Bryant], 'no.'"
It’s interesting that Horry, considered one of the top clutch shooters in Lakers playoff history, should be the one to call for the removal of a former teammate who many observers feel ranks right up there with him in that category.
D-Fish has five championship rings and has single-handedly won huge postseason games for the Lakers with acrobatic, desperate, last-second shots when no one else wanted to take them.
Yet, there’s a reason Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak drafted point guards with the first two picks the team had in last month’s draft. Horry’s brash comments may have seemed a bit off-putting coming from a former Laker. But, his honesty was spot-on and deserves further analysis.
Fisher, 36, has had a remarkable career and lasted far longer than most experts would have predicted when he was drafted by Los Angeles in 1996 from lightly regarded Arkansas-Little Rock.
So, whether it’s this season or next, the Lakers and Coach Mike Brown will likely be featuring someone new at the point position sooner than later.
The question then becomes: do you utilize the Band-Aid method and bring in a veteran for a year or two until one of the young draft picks is ready to take over? Do you look to make a blockbuster trade that brings a proven All-Star to the team and risk giving up one of your key pieces? Or, do you just decide there’s no time like the present and throw the prized rookie into the fire?
Let’s take a look at five players who may eventually replace, (or succeed) D-Fish and thus start a new chapter in Lakers history. I think there's a reasonable chance of landing any one of them.
And by the way, Chris Paul, pictured above and considered one of the league's elite point guards, is not one of the chosen few...simply because he may be too costly for most teams, including L.A.