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Oklahoma City Thunder: Five reasons the Thunder brought back Derek Fisher

DEREK FISHER — Bringing back the veteran guard makes a lot of sense for the Thunder, and it has the potential to do more good than harm. Darnell Mayberry examines the reasons why Oklahoma City made the move.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 25, 2013

Locker room leadership: Fisher is in his 17th NBA season. He's played more than 1,110 NBA games. Through it all, he's established a reputation as one of the most professional players around, earning the respect of his peers. When Fisher talks, people listen. The Thunder believes that command is invaluable in the locker room, in huddles and in hostile environments on the road. Fisher, in essence, is like another coach. And the way he shared secrets and experiences last year, while serving as a calming force at times and emotional captain at others, was, and still is, considered priceless by the team's decision-makers. If at any point the Thunder's young players need direction, they just got another person to which they can turn.

Perimeter shooting: Saying the Thunder strengthened a weakness even though it leads the league in 3-point shooting might seem a tad strange. But that's exactly what happened with Fisher's signing. Despite OKC's league-leading 39.2 percent rate from 3-point range, the Thunder still lacked reliable perimeter shooting threats outside of Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin. Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha are streaky shooters, and after them there's a severe drop off. Furthermore, the ball generally is in the hands of Westbrook or Durant, which in effect leaves only two, at most, reliable spot-up shooters on the wings at any given time. Fisher, however, made a respectable 37.5 percent of his 3s in the playoffs last year. If you never knew his position or history with the Thunder, you would think the Thunder upgraded simply by adding Fisher as another player who can space the floor.