Derek Fisher Rumors
The Los Angeles Sparks have parted ways with head coach and general manager Derek Fisher, per multiple sources. Fisher has been the team’s head coach since the 2019 WNBA season. After the firing of Penny Toler in October 2019, Fisher assumed front office duties as well. He was officially appointed as the team GM in December 2020.
Ohm Youngmisuk: The trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have now won 21 playoff series together, the 2nd-most by any trio over the last 30 seasons per Elias Sports Bureau. They passed the Lakers trio of Shaq-Kobe-Derek Fisher. pic.twitter.com/WlNCPF5ltr
It’s because during the 1998 Western Conference finals, the Lakers—then built around a young Shaquille O’Neal (26) and an even younger Kobe Bryant (19)—were, for the second straight spring, getting absolutely destroyed by the Jazz, a veteran-laden powerhouse led by Karl Malone and John Stockton. The Lakers were flashier and more talented, with Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Robert Horry, Rick Fox and Derek Fisher flanking O’Neal and Bryant. But the Jazz were more mature and methodical and ultimately overpowering. “We were young,” Van Exel says. “We had guys that wanted to get their points and do their thing, as opposed to going out there and winning as a group.”
To that end, it’s worth revisiting my report from earlier this month about Jackson’s affinity for Westbrook. When the decision was made to fire Vogel, there was a belief from on high that Westbrook wasn’t put in a position to succeed. For Jackson’s part, sources say he has cited the Gary Payton dilemma in the 2003-04 Lakers season as a way of illustrating a coach’s need to make the best of roster decisions that weren’t his preference. In essence, deal with the hand you’re dealt rather than complain about it.
When the Lakers’ late owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, insisted on adding Payton in the summer of 2003, that meant Jackson had to convince Derek Fisher to come off the bench. And considering those Lakers had won titles in three of the previous four seasons with Fisher starting, this wasn’t a welcome situation for Jackson to have to handle. Yet though they didn’t win it all, the Lakers did manage to return to the finals that season (where they lost to Detroit). The comparison, it seems, was made to make the point that the coach (and his staff) should somehow find a way to find the Westbrook solution. Again, the strong signs continue that the Lakers are preparing for the possibility of Westbrook remaining.
Thunder equipment manager Wilson Taylor was digging around the team storage facility prior to the start of the season. He happened to find five pairs of Thunder-colored Kobes initially intended for Derek Fisher, who played in OKC from 2012-2014. Within minutes, Giddey was at the facility looking to secure them. (Taylor) pulled out his phone, took a picture and texted it to Josh Giddey. “No way!” Giddey wrote back. “Can I come right now?” … Giddey, cradling the boxes like a child on Christmas, looked at Taylor and said: “Can I have them all?”