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Oklahoma City Thunder: Looking back on Derek Fisher's Thunder tenure

The Oklahoman’s staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Derek Fisher.
by Berry Tramel and Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: June 7, 2014

The Oklahoman’s staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Derek Fisher.

Assuming Derek Fisher’s playing days are indeed over, how would you categorize his time in a Thunder uniform?

Darnell Mayberry, Thunder beat writer: Fun while it lasted, but ultimately incomplete. Fisher came to Oklahoma City for one reason: to win his sixth championship. Against all odds, he gave it his best shot, performing admirably in that pursuit while also serving as a trusted teammate and valuable mentor for the better part of three seasons. So he has nothing to be ashamed of. But after coming up short three straight years for various reasons, Fisher would probably be the first to say this was a bittersweet ride.

Anthony Slater, Thunder beat writer: Cliché-filled, but underrated. Coach on the court. Leader in the locker room. Provides all the intangibles. It got to the point that, when asked about Fisher, Scott Brooks would preface it with: “Well, I know you get tired of hearing it …” before rattling the ‘winning’ qualities off anyway. But as redundant as it could be to constantly hear, a ton of it was true. He was influential for this organization and great for its young, impressionable stars. Plus, he was decent enough when he played. Solid tenure.

Berry Tramel, Columnist: Solid. Fisher was eighth on the team in playoff minutes this postseason. He was sixth in 2013 playoff minutes. Seventh in 2012 playoff minutes. Fish became a solid bench contributor. And his regal countenance will pay dividends for years. People still talk about Kevin Ollie’s off-court impact from his solitary year in Oklahoma City. Fisher was around for a lot longer and had even more impact.

What’s one thing you think every Thunder player should adopt from Fisher?

Mayberry: His approach. Whether he was preparing for that night’s game, staying late to get up extra shots after practice, picking people’s brains about the smallest of details or maintaining his body, Fisher was always doing something to ensure that he was ready, physically and mentally, when his name was called. He used every resource available to be the best he could be. If his teammates follow his lead, the Thunder will be better because they did.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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