In one of the most shocking deals at the trade deadline, Los Angeles Lakers trade Fisher" href="http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/28269/sources-lakers-trade-derek-fisher">Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets. While the addition of Ramon Sessions could ease the pain of the long-time Laker's departure, the ramifications go well beyond the Lakers' on-court production.
Fisher, a five-time NBA Champion with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, has been one of the tempering leaders of the egotistical team. His clutch play is legendary, but most of all, his friendship with Kobe Bryant is "unbreakable."
Bryant and Fisher have been separated before, as Derek Fisher spent three years between Golden State and Utah. Over that time period, Bryant had his greatest individual performances but his worst end-year results. While their friendship remained intact, according to Derek Fisher's official website, the drop in quality of play cannot be overlooked.
This time around, the Lakers are likely to see a different kind of adjustment period.
Rather than playing alongside Chucky Atkins, Tierre Brown, Smush Parker and Jordan Farmar, Bryant will be working with one of the most promising young point guards in the NBA. The quality of play and rhythm should actually improve as a result, to be frank.
The mental aspect of the game, however, cannot be ignored.
Derek Fisher has long been the Phil Jackson of the players. In other words, he has been the shoulder that every player's issues could fall onto. More specifically, Kobe Bryant's issues.
The question that now presents itself is...
Who will be Kobe Bryant's mental support?