Derek Fisher Fallout: A Note to Utah Jazz Fans

Chris ConradCorrespondent IMay 16, 2008

The chants of "cancer" storming through the arena showed just how little class this Utah Jazz organization has. The helpless point guard just smiled and let his game do the talking.

Derek Fisher and his Lakers got the last laugh after ending the Jazz season Friday night.

“It was a sweet win,” said Fisher, who scored 16 after shooting 7-of-8 from the line.

But the real dagger was thrown late in the fourth quarter. Once again, Jazz fans taunted shooting guard Kobe Bryant, chanting “rapist" and “thug” the whole game.

Kobe hit a double-clutch off the backboard for two points and the foul. Kobe then stared a classless Jazz fan right in the eye and said, “Yeah, that’s right.”

Some might say he was being Kobe Bryant, but some of us saw something different from Kobe tonight.

“He wanted it. He wanted it real bad,” said Laker teammate Lamar Odom.

Kobe who scored 199 points in the series, didn’t show any emotion until the clock hit zero to end the Jazz season.  The same can't be said for the Jazz fans.

If you haven't heard the Derek Fisher story, here's the short version: Fisher played for the Jazz last year, but his daughter was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer. Fisher asked to opt out of his contract, so he could have better access to health care for her.  He was subsequently picked up by the Lakers due to the proximity of a cancer treatment center for his daughter.

Fisher was booed the whole series, but Jazz fans took it too far when they chanted "cancer" while he was at the free throw line. How classless and inconsiderate can you be?

This man flew across the country so he could make it for the second half and helped you beat the Golden State Warriors. He put his heart and soul into this Utah Jazz program so that they could make a run in last season's playoffs.

When the game of basketball interferes with your family, the right choice as a person and as a dad is to be there for your daughter, especially when she has cancer.

This chant really angered me, because my high school held a charity event called Relay for Life. A bunch of my friends walked in it for Fisher, his daughter and several other people. I thought about the Jazz fans and how they would feel if they were present at this event.

The real question of these chants is: when does basketball interfere with a player’s personal life? Jazz fans crossed that line by chanting "cancer," taunting Kobe about rape allegations, and by throwing stuff at the Lakers bench in the last minutes of Game Seven.

However, Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant and this loaded Los Angeles Lakers team got the last laugh.

Congratulations to Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant for putting the taunts and chants behind you and playing the game of basketball the way it’s supposed to be played.


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