Derek Fisher: A Tribute to a Los Angeles Lakers Fan Favorite

Hayden Kim@@HayDayKimCorrespondent IIIMarch 15, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 19:  Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers moves the ball upcourt during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's hard to come to grips with the reality that Derek Fisher is no longer a Los Angeles Laker. In a last-minute deal involving the Lakers and Houston Rockets, Fisher was dealt in exchange for a first-round pick and center Jordan Hill, according to ESPN LA.

Before we delve into the sad news that is the departure of Fisher, let's first clarify that this was indeed the right move by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, trading Fisher for a younger player. Fisher's game has shriveled up into somewhat of a pulp in the last few years, and, though it's hard to say, Fisher just had to go.

Fisher has struggled to stay in front of younger and more skillful guards in recent years. At this point, he was more or less being kept solely because he was a veteran, a leader, a fan favorite and possibly because he is still the best charge taker in the league, even at his whopping age of 37.

Things We Will Miss About Derek Fisher:

1. The Jumper

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 We can't talk about Fisher without first addressing his unorthodox left-handed jumper. Out of all the rainbows people have seen in their entirety of their lives, Fisher's rainbow tops them all. No longer will Lakers fans see Fisher put up shots that could reach the moon, and no longer will they see his dead-eye rainbow free-throw stroke that makes for a nice oxymoron within itself.

2. His Flops

Certain players are known for certain things. Fisher has been notorious throughout his career for being one of the biggest floppers in the league and has been the epitome of being in the right place at the right time.

Never have we seen a player greet the floor so many times per game while getting the infamous "Fisher charge" call that opposing teams hate so much and never will we see it again. Fisher's flops were truly a work of art.

3. Clutch/Miracle Shots

No one knows how he does it, but Fisher has always found a way to chuck up some sort of crazy jumper at the end of games to win the game. Of course, the Lakers have always had Kobe Bryant to do the dirty work at the end of games, but Fisher has been by his side the whole time.

Do you all remember the buzzer beater against the San Antonio Spurs?

Well, that was Fisher if you hadn't already figured out, and no one could have described that sequence better than Shaquille O'Neal himself saying, "One lucky shot deserves another."

This was, of course, after Tim Duncan had banked in a three from the top of the key to take a 74-73 lead on the Lakers. Oh, and let's not forget the 2009 NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic, when Fisher made that game changing three-point shot from who knows how deep.

Like we said, we don't know how he does it, but he does it, over and over again.

4. Sportsmanship

Finally, you can't talk about Fisher without acknowledging his renowned sportsmanship over the course of his career. Fisher is the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), but what some may not take into account is the universal respect that players have around the NBA.

Fisher will forever be respected and loved by the league wherever he may be, and that is what will be remembered most by players and fans when looking back at Fisher's career. 

Conclusion: A Farewell to "Fish"

There have been a number of players over the years that have been synonymous with certain teams. Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls, Larry Bird with the Boston Celtics and John Stockton with the Utah Jazz. This may come off as silly, but Fisher falls into this category—at least if your talking about the Lakers.

When one thinks of the Lakers throughout these last 10 years, Fisher's name comes to mind. Whether it be alongside his infamous purple headband over his ears, or with the countless buzzer beaters he's accumulated over these cherished years with the Lakers. Like it or not, Fisher has always been in the purple and gold. 

Now, it was hard enough for Laker fans when Fisher had to leave the first and only time back in 2006 due to a trade, but at least he came back. What about now?

At the age of 37, there is virtually no chance that Fisher finishes his career as a Laker, and that thought alone is something everyone will have to deal with.

As the Lakers organization prepares to part ways with Fisher in these coming days, so will its fans. It has been a great 13 seasons, Fisher, and we all wish you the best moving forward.

You may not have the legs to touch the rim anymore, but God knows we will all fear you on the court when it comes crunch time in the fourth quarter. Until the day you retire—until the day you can't walk—you will be respected from all parties involved. Goodbye, old friend.