A five-time NBA Champion, Derek Fisher’s rings and notable skills on the court set him up for his post-playing career as a coach for the league. He had a reputation for being one of the best leaders for the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant even named him his favorite teammate.
Let’s take a closer look at what set Derek Fisher apart from other memorable players in the 90s and early 2000s.
Derek Fisher Early Life
Derek Fisher was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 9, 1974. His basketball career began in his teen years at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School, where he lettered in the game. He decided to continue playing while attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he majored in communications for four years.
During his time at UALR, he made the school’s all-time lists in points, assists and steals. During his senior year, he was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, and would soon be preparing for a career in the NBA.
Derek Fisher Basketball Career
Derek Fisher made a name for himself in the NBA, playing for six different teams.
His basketball career began with the LA Lakers when he was selected by the team as the 24th overall in the 1996 NBA draft. His first go around with the team lasted eight seasons, during which he:
- Played in the Schick Rookie Game during the All-Star Weekend
- Became one of the Lakers’ primary point guard
- Gained three of five rings.
After Derek Fisher’s championship spree in the early 2000s, he moved on to sign a six-year contract with the Golden State Warriors. He and the team made it to the Western Conference, but fell through. He played for two seasons here between moving to the Utah Jazz.
Derek Fisher’s time with the Jazz was short lived, but he became President of the National Basketball Players Association at this time. A sickness in the family kept Derek Fisher from playing in the first game of the Western Conference Semifinals, but made an appearance for game two.
After a request to relocate to find greater support for his daughter’s illness, Derek Fisher and the Lakers met again. He played here for another five years, and during this time, made it to the NBA finals and gained another two rings.
In 2012, Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets, but ended up negotiating out of his contract before playing a single game with the team.
During the last two seasons of Derek Fisher’s career, he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks. He began with the Thunder and made it to the 2012 NBA Finals, but was ultimately defeated by the Miami Heat.
Later that year, he joined the Dallas Mavericks. An injury led to his request to be released from his contract, and he re-signed with OKC. His last season before retirement ended in the Western Conference Finals, which the team would eventually lose to the San Antonio Spurs.
Derek Fisher Teams Coached
After retiring as a player, Derek Fisher put his basketball skills to use as a coach. His coaching career began with the New York Knicks in 2014 as the team’s head coach. He re-recruited Carmelo Anthony at this time with high hopes, but the team ultimately ended the season with the worst record in the history of the franchise. In early 2016, Fisher was fired as the head coach.
After a two year hiatus from coaching, Fisher was named the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks head coach in December 2018. He helped the team achieve 20 wins within his first year as coach, but had a difficult time getting them to succeed in the WNBA playoffs. In 2020, Derek Fisher was appointed as the general manager, but this career move was short lived and ended mid 2022.
Derek Fisher Post Retirement
Beyond his coaching career, Derek Fisher also worked professionally as a television analyst in 2016. He was a part of the team at NBA TV and Inside the TV. Later in the year, he became an in-studio analyst for the Lakers.
Derek Fisher Stats
With his experience playing for six different NBA teams, Derek Fisher’s career stats are as follows:
- G: 1287
- PTS: 8.3
- TRB: 2.1
- AST: 3.0
- FG%: 39.9
- FG3%: 37.4
- FT%: 81.7
- eFG%: 46.6
- PER: 11.7
- WS: 62.3
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