Veteran point guard Derek Fisher has chosen the Oklahoma City Thunder as the place to pursue a sixth NBA championship.
Fisher, who won five NBA titles as a guard on the Los Angeles Lakers, was traded by Los Angeles to Houston last week, but never played for the Rockets, instead opting to buy out his contract so he could join a championship contender for the stretch run.
“Right now, [the Thunder] sit on top of the Western Conference and I’m just hopeful that the things that I do, the things that I’ve always brought to every team I’ve ever played on, can be the right mix to help these guys continue to do whatever it is that they’re already doing,” Fisher said Wednesday night, prior to his debut for the team, which came against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti said the 16-year veteran will give the team – currently sitting with a record of 35-12 – added depth at the guard position.
“He’s got great poise, he’s got a great basketball IQ, great recognition on both ends of the floor,” Presti said of Fisher. “He understands the league, he’s a well-regarded corner shooter and someone that we feel like can settle you down and make plays for you throughout the body of the game.”
ESPN writes that Oklahoma City made room for Fisher by waiving forward Ryan Reid, a second-round pick in 2010 who had played in only five games over the past season and a half.
In his first game for the Thunder, Fisher clocked 19 minutes and finished with 5 points and one assist. His first basket for the team was vintage Fisher.
With just under 8 minutes to play in the 4th quarter and the Clippers mounting a comeback, point guard Russell Westbrook brought the ball down the court and swung it to Durant, who swung it to James Harden, who found Fisher camped out all by himself for a corner 3-pointer. After he drained the shot, Fisher got a standing ovation from the home crowd, as he did when he first entered the game with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
Derek Fisher gets a standing ovation in OKC Thunder debut:
Fisher was averaging 5.9 points, 3.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game this season before being dealt by the Lakers.
The 37-year-old sports career averages of 8.7 points, 3.1 assists, 23.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest.
Check out highlights from Derek Fisher’s Oklahoma City debut in the video below: