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Derek Fisher
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Fisher

Point guard
Personal information
Born (1974-08-09) August 9, 1974 (age 38)

Little Rock, Arkansas

Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school

(Little Rock, Arkansas)

College Arkansas–Little Rock (1992–1996)
NBA Draft 1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Pro playing career 1996–present
Number 2, 4, 37, 6
Career history
19962004 Los Angeles Lakers
20042006 Golden State Warriors
2006–2007 Utah Jazz
20072012 Los Angeles Lakers
2012 Oklahoma City Thunder
2012 Dallas Mavericks
2013 Oklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards
  • NBA champion (20002002, 20092010)
  • NBA Shooting Stars champion (2004)
  • Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year (1996)
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Derek Lamar Fisher (born August 9, 1974) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His NBA career has spanned more than 17 years, during which he has won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He currently serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

Fisher played college basketball for the Arkansas–Little Rock Trojans, and he was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1996. He was selected by the Lakers with the 24th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He spent his first eight seasons with the franchise, and he won three consecutive league championships (2000–2002) with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Fisher signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors. He was later traded to the Utah Jazz, whom he helped lead to the Western Conference finals. Due to his daughter's health, he asked to be released from his contract in 2007. He rejoined the Lakers and won two more NBA titles. The Lakers in 2012 traded Fisher to the Houston Rockets, who bought out his contract and waived him. He subsequently played with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks before joining the Thunder again.

As of 2013, Fisher had played in 240 career playoff games, the second highest total in NBA history. While playing for the Lakers, he hit a buzzer beater with 0.4 seconds left in game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, which the NBA lists as the 18th-greatest playoff moment of all time.[

Early life

Fisher was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, where he was a letterman in basketball.

He went on to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) for four years, with a major in communications. Fisher concluded his collegiate career at Arkansas-Little Rock second on the school’s all-time lists in points (1,393), assists (472) and steals (189). He averaged 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 112 games and led the team in assists and steals every year. Fisher also set a school record for free throws made in a career (399) and ranked third among all-time UALR leaders in three-point field goals made (125). As a senior, he earned Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year honors after averaging 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

In 2005, Fisher pledged $700,000 to UALR towards the construction of its Jack Stephens Center auxiliary gym, since named in his honor, and the establishment of the Fisher Fellows Life Skills program, a mentoring series for UALR student-athletes.

NBA career

Los Angeles Lakers (1996–2004)

Fisher was selected 24th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and spent his first eight seasons with them.

He made his NBA debut in an early season game against the Phoenix Suns, tallying 12 points and five assists. Over the course of his rookie season, Fisher appeared in 80 games, averaging 3.9 points, 1.5 assists and 1.2 rebounds. He was selected to the Schick Rookie Game during the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland and had 16 points and six assists.

Due to a stress fracture in his right foot, Fisher missed 62 games out of the 2000–01 season. By 2002–03, Fisher had firmly established himself as the Lakers' primary point guard, starting in all 82 games. But after the team was eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals by the eventual champion Spurs that spring, followed by the signing of veteran point guard Gary Payton in the summer, Fisher was demoted back to the bench for the 2003–04 season.

The 0.4 shot

One of Fisher's finest playoff moments came in Game 5 (May 13, 2004) of the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals between the Lakers and the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. The series was tied at 2, and Game 5 was a closely contested affair. With 11 seconds remaining, Kobe Bryant hit a jump shot to put the Lakers up 72–71. Tim Duncan then made a fadeaway 18-footer over Shaquille O'Neal to give the Spurs a 73–72 lead with 0.4 seconds on the clock.

To devise strategies, three consecutive time-outs were called: the first by the Lakers, the second by San Antonio to set up the defense, and the last by the Lakers to re-set up the offense. When the game resumed, Gary Payton inbounded the ball to Fisher, who managed to catch, turn, and shoot the game-winning basket all in 0.4 seconds. Fisher sprinted off the court, as he later admitted he was uncertain he beat the buzzer and wanted to exit before the play could be reviewed. The Spurs immediately filed a dispute regarding the shot and after reviewing video footage of the play, the referees concluded that the ball indeed left Fisher's hands before the clock expired. The "0.4" shot counted and the Lakers won the game 74–73.

The Lakers closed out the Spurs in Game 6. They proceeded to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves to clinch the Western Conference championship, but were upset in the NBA Finals by the Detroit Pistons 4 games to 1.

Golden State Warriors (2004–2006)

On July 16, 2004, Fisher signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent. Fisher's two-season term with Golden State proved to be somewhat of a disappointment. While he was a reliable spot-up shooter, Fisher saw limited openings without a star player such as Bryant or O'Neal to command a double-team. The team as a whole continued to struggle mightily and languished near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Speedy Claxton started more games than Fisher in 2004–05 season, and then newly-acquired point guard Baron Davis was a starter the following season. In the 2005–06 season, Fisher averaged 13.3 points a game, the highest season scoring average of his career.

Utah Jazz (2006–2007)

Fisher was acquired by the Utah Jazz on July 12, 2006 in a trade that sent Keith McLeod, Andre Owens, and Devin Brown to the Golden State Warriors. He appeared in all 82 games of the 2006–07 season, averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.01 steals while scoring in double figures 40 times.

In November 2006, Fisher was voted President of the National Basketball Players Association, succeeding Antonio Davis. Fisher had previously served as vice president. He has also been the color commentator for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA since July 1, 2008.

Oklahoma City Thunder (2012)

On March 21, 2012, after clearing the waivers at 6 pm Eastern time, Fisher signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the remainder of the 2011–2012 season. The Thunder organization called a pre-game press conference prior to its 7pm game to formally announce the signing of Fisher. He chose jersey number 37, his age at the time, because his usual No. 2 was taken by Thabo Sefolosha. Fisher made his Thunder debut on the very same night against the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 5 points. The Thunder advanced to the 2012 NBA Finals after defeating the Spurs in the Western Conference finals for Fisher's eighth career NBA Finals appearance.

Dallas Mavericks (2012)

On November 29, 2012, Fisher signed with the Dallas Mavericks. The team was in need of a point guard after a finger injury sidelined struggling starter Darren Collison. He wore No. 6, as he was told that No. 2—worn last in Dallas by Jason Kidd—was unavailable; the number signified his quest for a sixth championship. Fisher started in his first game with the Mavericks and Collison came off the bench in a 92–77 win over Detroit.

On December 20, Fisher injured the patellar tendon of his right knee, requiring an estimated two-week recovery time. Two days later, he was granted his request to be released by the Mavericks. He said the release was driven by the injury coupled with his priority to be close to his family. In nine games with the Mavericks, the team went 5–4, and he averaged 8.6 points and 3.6 assists in just over 25 minutes per game.

Return to the Oklahoma City Thunder (2013)

On February 25, 2013, Fisher re-signed with Oklahoma City for the remainder of the 2012–13 season. He filled the Thunder's opening for a third point guard after Eric Maynor had been traded. After being away from basketball, Fisher reflected on his career and decided to pursue the opportunity with the Thunder. He did not contact Dallas before signing with the championship contenders, which upset Mavericks officials. Fisher chose to

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