Lakers point guard Derek Fisher addressed assembled media members for the first time since re-signing with LA on Friday afternoon, taking a quick break from his basketball camp for kids.
You can head over to Lakers.com to view video of Fisher’s comments, in addition to viewing a summary of the comments as listed below:
- Fisher’s opening: “I definitely feel like I made the right decision.”
- As Fish said in his statement, Kobe Bryant played a big role in Fisher’s return to L.A.: “Kobe and I worked extremely hard to be in a position where we are now in our careers. Obviously he’s much more accomplished than I am, but we have a bond that I just didn’t want to break. I think we can lead our team to another championship this season and that was a big motivating factor.”
- On his communication level with Kobe throughout the free agency period: “I told him that I would keep him in the loop in terms of anything that he didn’t know was going on that he’d heard or read … we talked for the most part on a daily basis. I just felt it was important for him to understand my thoughts as the process unfolded so that if I did choose to go somewhere else, if I wanted anybody to understand it fully I wanted him to understand it.”
- Alluding to the offseason recovery periods specifically for Bryant and Andrew Bynum, Fisher said he thought the team could be healthier than it has been in the last two years, which is exciting to him.
- Along those lines, Fisher’s always one to use the offseason to prepare his body for the rigor of an NBA season, and said he began training about nine or ten days ago. “Just waking the body up again after a few weeks off, and starting to key in on some things that I want to improve on this offseason. That’s all I know how to do … I’m right back at it. I’m committed to being the best that I can be. I didn’t sign a three-year contract by accident because I fully expect to continue to help my team in a major way for the next three years.”
- That last quote may have been the most interesting from Fisher on the day, so we asked a follow-up question alluding to the fact that he’s brushed off any talk of retirement for the past two seasons, suggesting he wanted to keep playing for a while, wondering if that was a primary consideration with the contract he signed: “Definitely,” he said. “There was no desire just to sign a one-year contract and do it one year at a time. That’s not how my body feels, that’s not how my passion for helping this team feels, and so, regardless of who we have, what my role is, who’s coaching, whatever the situation is … for me personally I’m working hard to keep getting better. I’ll mend and mesh and adapt my abilities and talents based on the team that we have, and that’s the job we all have to do in the offseason as well as in the season. We have to come together for the common goal, and that’s winning titles.”
- Fisher said he “seriously considered” his other free agency options before ultimately choosing the Lakers based on a few factors including his relationship with Kobe, the community and the city of Los Angeles.
- Fisher touched on the negotiation process with the team, neglecting to use a media-suggested word of “frustration,” and simply saying that he’s been around long enough to know how the process works.
- Generally, Fisher keeps his comments simple about new players out of respect for those that have left, but he did say that he thinks the pieces L.A. was able to add were “key for what we need.”