Thunder notebook: Derek Fisher letting young players feel their way out

Derek Fisher has experience with what the NBA Finals are all about, but the 37-year-old isn't being aggressive in offering advice to the younger players on how to handle their first experience playing for a championship.
by Ryan Aber Published: June 9, 2012

More than any other player on the Thunder, Derek Fisher has experience with what the NBA Finals are all about.

He's been seven times with the Lakers before this run with the Thunder. Five times, his team has come out on top.

But the 37-year-old isn't being aggressive in offering advice to the younger players on how to handle their first experience playing for a championship.

“I've found it better, on some levels, to allow guys to experience things for themselves in its natural state,” Fisher said. “You can't always try to tell someone what they should feel or what they should be thinking as they're getting ready to go into what may be the biggest moment of their life or their career.

“I think it's important to allow people to be who they are and experience it the way they naturally would and then as they settle in and things kind of smooth out, then you kind of go to work in offering words of advice or suggestions.”

Westbrook's thumb ‘fine'

Three days after Russell Westbrook injured his left thumb in the Game 6 win over San Antonio, Westbrook went through a full practice as the Thunder returned to the court Saturday afternoon.

“It's fine,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “He's fine. He's fine. ...

“I didn't even ask really.”

Durant ready to ‘suck it up'

With just one more series remaining, Kevin Durant isn't feeling mentally run down.

“If you're mentally tired, I don't know how you can be here,” Durant said. “This is a good opportunity for a lot of players. A lot of players don't get this opportunity, so you've got to block all that out and just go out there and play.”

The end is now in clear sight for Durant and the Thunder.

“The most we can get is seven games,” Durant said Saturday afternoon. “So we've got to suck it up for seven more.

“Ask any of the three teams left and they're all sucking it up to keep going.”

Fisher remembers playing Brooks

The careers of Brooks and Fisher briefly overlapped during Fisher's first two seasons in the league.

But with Brooks playing in the Eastern Conference, with the Knicks and Cavaliers, the pair only went head to head once during the regular season.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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