Derek Fisher Interview
For your reading pleasure, here is a transcribed version of Derek Fisher’s introductory press conference. Stay with NewsOK.com for continuing coverage of Fisher’s signing and tonight’s Thunder-Clippers game.
ON THE LAST 48 HOURS
I’ll refrain from boring you with the circumstances and the details. But this situation here in Oklahoma City and with the Thunder team is just one that is special already. And the circumstances that kind of surround me being available to come here are rare, but also what’s rare is what’s going on here with this team and these players and these coaches and the front office. Considering I had the opportunity to basically choose the best situation and the right fit, there was no doubt, after speaking with several teams, that this was the best place and the best fit.
ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT THE THUNDER
The team itself, which I’ve always had a lot of respect for, plays hard and plays with energy every night. And even with a relatively young basketball team, they’re only focused on one thing and that’s winning and being successful. Having gotten the opportunity to speak with Sam Presti and some of the other members of the staff, it’s very clear that there’s one common goal here and that’s to maximize the abilities of every player on the team to try to bring, at some point, a championship to Oklahoma City. And so it was very difficult to not see myself as a person that could come in and help add to a situation that’s already special.
ON HOW HE FEELS HE CAN MAKE AN IMPACT
In a number of ways. As a leader, which can happen from the bench, can happen from the locker room; but I’m a basketball player so it can also happen on the court. So I’m just looking to be as helpful as I possibly can to every player on this team. I’m not here to take anything away from anyone. I’m here to only add and support and assist in what I feel like is a great process that’s already been established here with this team.
ON THE TRADE FROM THE LAKERS
I was surprised by it. But since then, I’ve very much realized that it’s not so much about what went wrong and why it happened, but more so where I’m going next and the next chapter of my life. At the right time I’ll be able to make statements and say things related to the Lakers and my teammates and guys that I used to play with. But right now, for me, I’m excited about this team and the potential that they have and what it is that I can bring to something that’s already doing pretty good. They’re right now sitting on top of the Western Conference. I’m just hopeful that the things that I do, the things that I’ve always brought to every team that I’ve every played on, could be the right mix to help these guys continue to do what it is that they’re already doing.
ON GETTING TO KNOW THUNDER PLAYERS AND FINDING HIS ROLE
That’s really the most special part of being a professional athlete, the relationships you develop with your teammates. You develop lifelong bonds and friendships. It won’t be as easy as normal when you have a training camp and you have time to get to know your teammates. But one thing I’ve observed from a distance is these guys on this team in this locker room appear to have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. I played against Scott (Brooks) but also know him a little bit as a coach. He’s a straight shooter and a guy that treats people with respect. And so I don’t think it’ll be a problem transitioning into the locker room. My willingness is there, and I think this team is about winning and their willingness will be there and we’ll just try to work together the best we can to be the best team we can possibly be.
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