Derek Fisher accepted a buyout of his contract with the Houston Rockets. In doing so he left $3.4 million on the table in the hopes of playing for a contender. The rest of this article will not be kind to Derek Fisher, you’ve been warned. Derek Fisher has five rings and has been to seven finals. Using the rings argument he’s right up there with Kobe Bryant. In leaving money on the table, Fisher is under the assumption that a better team than Houston will want him. It should be noted that Houston currently sports a winning record and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.
While some astute fans will say that Fisher should not join their team, the fact is that Fisher’s mindset is not considered insane by everyone. Frankly, it should be. Let’s do a quick recap of Derek Fisher’s resume at the start of his title days:
Examing Fisher’s career thanks to the stats at NBA Geek we can see some truths. What exactly is Fisher good at? Well his turnovers have traditionally been lower than average, of course so have his his assists. His steals have been slightly above average. His two point shooting has never been that great but his three point shooting has been pretty good. However, add it all up and you get a mostly average player that has been declining in the last three seasons. Why would any team want a below average thirty-seven year old on their team?
In fact, when we look at Fisher’s championship seasons we see he hasn’t contributed too much. In 2002 and 2009 he was a slightly above average player. But in 2000, 2010 and 2011 he was below average. In 2001 he barely played any minutes. Fisher’s championship caliber has had more to do with his team mates than his own skills. People defending Fisher may say a traditional point guard isn’t needed as much in the triangle offense. While that may be true, we can notice he was below average in his time in Golden State. What’s more, if his position didn’t matter then why should he be given credit for contributing on his title teams?
When it comes to stats or position it seems people accept that Fisher doesn’t really excel at either. Really it’s his championship pedigree and leadership that people point at. Good teams have players with the right attitude! I’ll argue that Fisher’s championship pedigree has come from playing next to players like Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol and yes, Kobe Bryant.
As for Fisher’s leadership? If this is truly a quality that people are looking for, than let me offer an alternative. Barack Obama is a basketball fan (apparently it’s in his DNA). He also has a pretty decent set of basketball knowledge and clearly has a great deal of leadership on his resume. The president’s salary is roughly $400,000, which is below the NBA league minimum. Team’s are content with Fisher’s poor stats because of his great leadership. If team’s want to pay for that though, I’d say Obama is a superior choice and his price tag is lower. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that Fisher has just been lucky to play on good teams. It’s possible that such players get more credit than they deserve. But if that’s not the case then here’s hoping Obama likes your team!