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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

On April 3, 1998, Fisher's Lakers beat Brooks' Cavs 105-93.

“We got after each other a little bit a couple of times,” Fisher said. “It was a scrap. You had to compete hard. It wasn't anything that was going to come easy. I was a young guy so of course he was trying to get after me and I didn't know any better, so I was going to try to get after him.”

The two didn't share the floor long, as Brooks played just four minutes in that game, finishing with two points and a pair of rebounds.

But Fisher says he remembers seeing a similarity then in the coach Brooks would become to the player he was.

“It's the same things he tries to instill in the guys now,” Fisher said. “Playing with toughness, playing with passion and playing for each other, those are the things he exemplified as a player.”

Presti returns from Chicago

Thunder general manager Sam Presti was back in Oklahoma City on Saturday after spending the last two days in Chicago at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp.

Presti and assistant general manager Troy Weaver left early Thursday morning for the last two days of the three-day camp.

The Thunder has the No. 28 overall pick in the NBA Draft, which starts at 6 p.m. June 28 in Newark, N.J.

Practice moves downtown Monday

After another scheduled practice Sunday at the Integris Health Thunder Development Center, Thunder practices will move to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday in preparation for Tuesday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The Thunder will practice first Monday morning at the arena before the Eastern Conference champions take the floor for practice in the afternoon.

Keeping things in perspective

As many members of the Thunder have recently, Fisher on Saturday wore a bright green wristband for Lorelei Decker, a recent Putnam City North graduate who is undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

“It's just a subtle reminder of how to keep all of this in perspective,” Fisher said. “There's obviously a lot of focus, a lot of attention that revolves around the finals and the opportunity to win a championship and all of it is great but Lorelei and what she has experienced and will continue to experience as she battles cancer, that trumps all of this.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics 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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