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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

Slater: Defensive disposition. The Thunder had plenty of lapses on that end this season, but Fisher didn’t. He was occasionally exploited by quicker, younger guards, like Jamal Crawford in the Clippers series. But that was a physical, Father Time issue, not an effort problem. When on the court, Fisher was high-octane and fully committed. He played with a constant energy that, if converted over to the Thunder’s younger players, would turn OKC into a nightly defensive juggernaut.

Tramel: Confidence. Derek Fisher is confident. He’s ready to shoot when called upon. If Thabo Sefolosha had a quarter of Derek Fisher’s confidence, Thabo would be signing a new contract for more money to remain the Thunder starting shooting guard. Fisher knows how to play. Any current limitations are all physically based. But the thing that keeps him going is he’s ready at all times and fears nothing.

When next season begins, where is Fisher and what is he doing?

Mayberry: New York. Coaching the Knicks. The Lakers might be the preferred locale given Fisher’s family residence and his history with the franchise. But the Knicks have been waiting on Fisher for what seems like forever. And with Fisher’s friend and former coach, Phil Jackson, running the show in New York, that gig appears to be too good of a match to turn down.

Slater: Working under Phil Jackson, leading a flawed Knicks roster in what’ll likely be an unsuccessful start to what I think will be a highly successful coaching career. Players are going to have no trouble getting motivated to perform under Fisher.

Tramel: He’s taking a cab from the Upper East Side to Madison Square Garden to coach the Knickerbockers in their season opener, probably against the Netropolitans.

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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