By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Derek Fisher is back in Oklahoma City, signing with the Thunder on Monday and potentially returning to the court by Wednesday.
The sole goal for the 15-year veteran seems simple. Fisher wants another — and maybe final — shot at his sixth NBA title, so he latched onto one of the few teams with a legit shot at hoisting the trophy in June.
No harm there. Happens all the time. The feeling from OKC’s side was mutual, the familiarity was there and the pairing made sense.
But it’s not what lies ahead of Fisher that has been thrown into question today. It’s what lies immediately behind him, in the wake of his brief tenure and abrupt departure from the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season.
Fisher signed with Dallas in November, even earning a starting job and contributing role (8.6 points and 3.4 assists per game) by early December.
But a minor knee injury in his ninth game forced him to the sidelines and soon after, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, Fisher was voluntarily waived.
But his former teammates, in comments to ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon earlier today, seemed a bit skeptical
From MacMahon’s story:
…However, the suspicion among his temporary Dallas teammates was that the five-time NBA champion would join a contender later this season.
“It wasn’t a big surprise,” one Mavs veteran said. “We expected him to end up with the Lakers or OKC.”
Added another Dallas veteran, while rolling his eyes: “Good for him. Good for him.”
Also, in an NBA.com Hang Time blog, league insider Jeff Caplan described the “agitated” reaction from Dallas’ front office:
So how do the jilted Mavs feel about this turn of events?
Owner Mark Cuban did not reply to multiple emails on Monday, but one league source said the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is “agitated.” The source said that Fisher and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him.
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