Derek Fisher: The Dallas Mavericks' Afterthought

By Robert White
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Plastered all over the internet the past couple of days have been reports of the Dallas Mavericks’ dissatisfaction with veteran point guard Derek Fisher’s decision to return to NBA basketball. For some reason, this non-story has been blown completely out of proportion.

The 38-year-old Fisher latched on with the Mavs early in the season, but it has now become clear the five-time champion retired as a way of making himself available to a team in a better position to contend for a championship.

The story started when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was asked about Fisher’s decision to retire after a short stint in Dallas in order to spend more time with his children. The response was typical Cuban.

“Look, I understand completely,” Cuban said Tuesday. “From the time Derek was here to his signing with OKC, his kids are older, they can deal with things better. So I understand him having more comfort in being away from them. That’s all you need to know.”

Instead of stopping there, some media outlets pressed on, asking the players what they thought of Fisher’s blatant ring chase. Via ESPN:

“It wasn’t a big surprise,” one Mavs veteran said. “We expected him to end up with the Lakers or OKC.”

Added another Dallas veteran, while rolling his eyes: “Good for him. Good for him.”

Seemingly forgotten amongst all the hoopla has been the simple fact that Derek Fisher hasn’t been relevant in NBA circles for quite some time. Although Fisher was reasonably productive averaging 8 points and three assists per game for the Mavs, he wasn’t winning Dallas a championship, or even capable of lifting the team into playoff contention. His resume speaks for itself, but the days of Fish launching poorly timed transition threes should have stayed dead and buried.

Dallas moved on almost immediately by signing another veteran mentor in Mike James and as Fisher returns to the Oklahoma City Thunder is a meaningless last hurrah- he’ll probably sit behind Reggie Jackson as the third string point guard- we are all just counting the days until he retires for good.

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