Q&A: Derek Fisher on Rejoining the Thunder
Here’s what Derek Fisher had to say to reporters following his first practice today.
Q: What brought you back?
A: After leaving Dallas and having the opportunity to take a few weeks to get my knee healed up, and then spend some additional time with my family over the last couple of months, as I started to think about my career and talk to my wife, talk to my family, the consensus as a group for us is that I deserved this opportunity to come back and be a part of something special here in terms of this community, this team, this organization. I’m not planning on retiring at the end of the season, but if this is my last season I deserve this opportunity to be here with this group. That’s really what brought me back.
Q: When you left Dallas, did you think this was a possibility or did you think it was over?
A: I was unsure. I knew that I still wanted to play the game. I knew I still had the love, the work ethic, the passion. The injury was a setback. The biggest struggle for me even after 16 years was playing in a different city, being away from my family. Those are things that I struggled with. But as I was leaving Dallas, I understood the risk, that that could possibly be my last game and my last opportunity. But as I stated earlier, as I healed up over the few weeks after I left and started training again, I was not necessarily planning on having the opportunity to play again but as I stated it was a group decision kind of as a family that this opportunity was worth coming back for and worth me having an opportunity to finish the way I would like to finish.
Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Scotty yet and talk in depth about your role on this team? Do you envision it to be similar to last year as the backup point guard? What do you have in mind?
A: No. I’ve come here without any sense of entitlement or expectation in terms of what Scotty or the team is supposed to do. This team, just like when I showed up last year, is obviously already been able to put together a great season, a great record. It’s not for me to come in here and try to be something that I’m not. So whatever role or whatever opportunities Scotty and the team see for me in terms of being helpful, then that’s what I’m willing to play. I think Reggie Jackson has played really solid basketball and deserves the opportunity to continue to play. And so Scotty will make those decisions. Like I said, I’m just thankful to have this opportunity to be on a team, to be back. Scotty’s a great coach. He’ll make the decisions that he feels is best for the team. I’ll just make sure that I’m prepared no matter what happens.
Q: Why not stay here the whole time? Was that made available to you, just re-sign at the end of last year?
A: No. It was something that we talked about. But I think Sam Presti, being not just the great general manager that he is, but I think the great person that he is, felt a responsibility to be more focused on Eric (Maynor’s) return and Reggie Jackson’s development. And that was more of a priority. That was something we talked about in my final exit meeting last year. And so I think we both realized that it would probably be tough for me to come back in the right setting at the end of last season. But it for sure would have been something that I was willing to do. So it’s obviously quite surreal still at this point to have this opportunity to come back now.
Q: What else do you notice about this team, maybe the way it’s grown or changed?
A: Well, if you think about from the last game this team played in the NBA Finals to some of the uncertainty, I guess, as training camp began with whether James (Harden) is going to stay or not. And then to lose the caliber of player that James Harden was, is and will become, a lot of teams would not be able to withstand that, even with an addition like Kevin Martin, who’s been great. But I think for such a young team, you just have to continue to marvel at and be amazed at the level of maturity and their ability to be mentally focused on being successful day in and day out. So I still see that in this team. But I also see a willingness and a desire to get better. And so for a team to make it to the NBA Finals and still see the desire to get better, knowing that there’s still some unfinished business left on the table, that’s refreshing and I’m humble to be a part of it.
Q: Where are you from a conditioning standpoint, and how ready are you to play?
A: I’m in great physical condition. My knee was healed up in a few weeks, and essentially since the first of the year I’ve been training hard and pushing hard. Obviously playing basketball, NBA basketball in particular, you can’t practice that. There isn’t anything that can prepare you for playing in the game. So even with being in great shape, whatever minutes that I do get, whether it’s tomorrow, or this weekend or whenever they come, it’ll still take time to get extremely comfortable out there on the floor, doing a lot of the things I’m capable of doing. But as I told Scotty and Sam and other people that I’ve spoken to, my tank is much more full showing up this year than it was last year. And so I plan on being more impactful and more effective than I was for the team last year.
VIDEOS FROM NBA TV
Buy Tickets View all
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 26512Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 17561Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 8879OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 8492Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy lifts Wes Lunt restrictions, but too late
- 8412UPDATE: I-40 reopened at Shields after fatal wreck
- 7989Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale
- 7605Oklahoma State football: A stunning success story at the box office
- 6228Get App-y: Google Glass to offer heads-up computing
- 5649Prosecutors say stolen car was at heart of 2011 fatal shootings in Oklahoma City
- 4993Team Blake's Danielle Bradbery wins "The Voice"; The Swon Brothers finish in third place
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients