OKC Thunder notebook: Derek Fisher building comfort level with new teammates

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 28, 2012
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Derek Fisher is all business, which is something you'd expect from a 16-year pro who is president of the National Basketball Players Association.

When approached before Tuesday night's game at Portland for an interview about his return to Los Angeles, Fisher politely sidestepped answering any questions about the Lakers until after the game against the Trail Blazers.

“The thing that really impresses me is he comes in and does his work,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said. “He's really professional. He's thorough. He's diligent in his work. He's always early. He gets his time in before and after practice. He's not just sitting down and grabbing guys (to come) over. You can't do that. There's always a grace period, a comfort level that guys need and that he needs with guys.”

Brooks said Fisher has been very subtle in sharing his thoughts.

“He's talked to the group at times,” Brooks said. “He's not a big talker, but what he says is very important. Those are words our guys need to hear and they need to continue to hear. He's not like grabbing guys left and right (and saying), 'Come on and listen to this story I'm about to tell you.' He's a class act. We appreciate having him around.”

'WEIRD' SIGHT

Kobe Bryant said Fisher's return to Staples Center for Thursday night's contest will create an “extremely weird” sight after the two were teammates for nearly 13 seasons.

“It's going to be strange, him going down to the visitors' locker room,” Bryant told the Los Angeles Times. “But I talk to him pretty much every single day, though, still. So in terms of our personal relationship, there really hasn't been any separation in that sense. But seeing him coming into Staples Center in a different uniform is going to be extremely, extremely weird for us all.”

KD35 BALL

Individual tickets remain for the Devon Energy KD35 Ball, an inaugural fundraiser on Saturday at the Skirvin Hotel benefiting the newly formed Kevin Durant Family Foundation.

Guided by Kevin and his mother, Wanda Pratt, the foundation's vision is to “play forward” Durant's priorities of helping children and families succeed.

The KD35 Ball will feature a dinner, a dance and entertainment by Grammy award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari.