As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and often a backcourt partner to Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher won five NBA championships over two separate stints with the team.
The two grew close during their playing days but later found themselves once again connected through women’s basketball. Fisher became the head coach of the L.A. Sparks prior to 2018-19 WNBA season while Bryant was busy coaching his daughter Gianna’s basketball team.
When asked about whether or not he and Bryant talked about women’s basketball in an appearance on the “Legends of Sport: Restarting the Clock” podcast, Fisher revealed that the conversations revolved around their families, via the L.A. Times
“Not specifically the WNBA. But specifically our daughters, what life is like raising daughters. Those were conversations we had for years. You know, the amount of time that we spoke, honestly, our relationship evolved from the eight years that we played together. The three years that we were apart—two years I was in Golden State, one in Utah—our relationship evolved from teammates, basketball, how do we win, what’s the next game to fatherhood, raising kids, you know. We spent a lot of time just talking about life from that perspective.
“I had no idea the way he would impact the women’s game years later — I didn’t see that happening. Even though he was very clear about his love for his daughters and wanting to create a better world for them. But I think once Gigi kind of became a monster on the court, he was like ‘Alright, that’s where I want her to be eight or nine years from now so let me get to work now to make sure that that’s where it needs to be when she gets there.’ He wasn’t trying to have his daughter playing for 50 grand.”
Bryant became one of women’s basketball’s biggest advocates, often attending games with his daughter and championing the players and WNBA. Meanwhile, Fisher led the Sparks to a 22-12 record in his first year before they were eliminated in the semifinals of the 2019 WNBA Playoffs.
More than six months since his passing, people like LeBron James are still thinking of Bryant everyday, but the basketball world will always be grateful to the Black Mamba for his impact on the game.
JaVale McGee left family for bubble
JaVale McGee has been a star during the Orlando bubble as the big man has seen success with his vlog, “Life in the Bubble.”
McGee has been giving fans an exclusive look at a day on campus and in the first episode he documented leaving his family for Orlando. The center admitted it was difficult to leave his daughter but makes up for their time away together through FacetTime.
“It was sad on my end. My daughter is only three, so she doesn’t understand the concept of time and the fact that her daddy is going to be gone for three months. But I FaceTime her every day, and that’s always a blessing,” McGee recently said.
“Thanks to technology. If this had happened 10 years ago, it would be horrible trying to talk to a 3-year-old on the phone. We’re just blessed to be in a time we are, truthfully. We’ve just got to take it day by day and make sure we appreciate the little things.”
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