Kobe Bryant's Comments Speak Volumes About Derek Fisher's NBA Legacy

Austin GreenCorrespondent IMarch 26, 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

Derek Fisher has spent the past two years getting destroyed by opposing point guards, but the somber cloud hovering over his departure from L.A. is a great testament to his NBA legacy.

Watching him get his ankles broken every night makes it easy to forget that Fisher is one of the most successful players in NBA history.ย 

His career numbers of 8.7 points and 3.1 assists per game don't exactly scream "Hall of Fame," but only 13 players in league history have more championship rings. And if you take away the core from the 1950's and '60's Boston Celtics, the list shrinks to four: Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Robert Horry and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Kobe Bryant, who battled with Fisher during all five of his championship seasons, knows just how special the veteran point guard is. When the Lakers traded him to Houston (who then waived him), Bryant spoke about the five rings he won with Fisher.

"That doesn't happen by accident," said Bryant. "There's a reason why players that have multiple championships have multiple championships. There's a certain characteristic and an understanding and knowledge and that's not something that's easily taught. You kind of have to go through it and it kind of has to be part of your DNA from the beginning."

Fisher certainly had that championship DNA, and this ringing endorsement from Bryant might as well serve as the first paragraph of Fisher's plea to the Hall of Fame voters.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot between Tyson Chandler #6 and Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second quarter in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs
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No, Fisher's career numbers aren't great, and he never received any individual awards in the NBA. However, he was an essential ingredient to every Lakers title team in the Kobe Bryant era.

He drained numerous clutch shotsโ€”from the iconic '04 shot, to his back-breaking threes in 2009โ€”and provided the stability and leadership that every championship team needs.

As he runs around with his new Oklahoma City teammates, it's easy to see that Fish is just a shell of the shell of his former self. He gets murdered on a nightly basis and he's no longer a capable NBA starter. But as Bryant's comments alluded to, Fisher was a special player for the majority of his career.

Although Fisher has struggled these past few years, nothing can taint his legacy as one of the greatest champions in NBA history.

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