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Derek Fisher's meeting with New Orleans Saints should springboard into other speaking opportunities


Lakers guard Derek Fisher will huddle tonight with a group of athletes determined not to remain complacent after a championship season. Fisher will speak eloquently about what it takes to repeat and the sacrifices needed to reach that goal. And those in attendance will remark later how they drew inspiration from Fisher's words and took them to heart moving forward.

Before you do a double take on the calendar and wonder how on earth you didn't realize the Lakers season already started, don't panic. We're still 2 1/2 weeks away. While fans and the media, myself included, will spend time today previewing what's in store for the Lakers' 2010-2011 season, Fisher will be in New Orleans addressing the Saints, the defending Super Bowl champions, before their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Given the way Fisher stuck his neck out by questioning management when it wanted Phil Jackson to accept a pay cut this off-season and how he asked pointed yet respectful questions to Kobe Bryant on Jim Rome's show, I'm wouldn't be at all surprised if Fisher chimed in on whether Reggie Bush should hand over the Heisman Trophy.

It's not surprising, either, that the Super Bowl champions sought Fisher, a winner of five NBA titles, to share his wisdom. It's surely nothing new. He's given countless speeches to his Laker teammates. He speaks on behalf of the players as the president of the NBA Players Assn. And he's pretty much the Lakers' locker room spokesman when it comes to outlining the team message to the media. Beyond continuing his NBA duties, the only question entails where Fisher will speak next? Below the jump are three ideas.

Consult Matt Barnes: This proposal is the more serious of the other two I outline later. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, Barnes was arrested Wednesday night on a domestic violence charge and for allegedly obstructing the use of a telephone line. Barnes told ABC News 10's Bryan May, "I was the victim but still got arrested," so a process will ensue with sorting out the facts from fiction.

With Barnes scheduled to appear in court Monday, it wouldn't hurt for Fisher to consult with him. Though the details involving the case aren't completely definitive, Fisher's talk with Barnes would serve two purposes. It would establish a relationship as teammates and it would allow Fisher to serve as the team ambassador and liaison. As far as what Fisher might say to him? It's unfair to speculate at this point, but regardless of the facts, Fisher has a level-headed perspective on issues and would have great insight to share with Barnes, both positive and negative depending on what the circumstances entail.

Speak with Team USA:  Fisher isn't playing for the U.S. national team, but that doesn't mean his words can't help inspire the Americans to victory in the FIBA World Championships. Team USA just came off a 89-79 win today over Russia in the quarterfinals and faces Lithuania on Saturday in the semifinals. That means Fisher has time to book a flight after the Saints game and arrive in Istanbul, Turkey before tipoff.

Fisher would appeal to patriotism and how Team USA has the chance to win the FIBA World Championship for the first time since 1994. Fisher would mention how no player from the 2008 Olympic team is playing, meaning every player on Team USA has a chance to prove they're worthy replacements. Fisher would also have the ear of teammate Lamar Odom, whose leadership on Team USA will convince everyone else to listen up.

Campaign for mid-term elections: Ignore your politics for just one second. I don't want this to open up a can of worms on political issues and who's in the wrong for what's led to our country's current state. But for the pure sake that Fisher campaigned for President Obama leading into the 2008 election, it wouldn't hurt for Fisher to join the cause again. Obama's approval ratings aren't the highest and various accounts suggest Republicans are poised to grab a few seats. Whether or not you agree with Obama's policies, Fisher's presence could help assuage voter concerns and provide a different face. Consider it his test run for whenever Fisher runs for president in a few years.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo:  Derek Fisher, who knows about winning championships, will speak to the New Orleans Saints today.  Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (22)

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Fisher - just the picture of eloquence and grace, yet not afraid to throw an elbow at Scola for dogging his team mates. I love that man!

Derek Fisher for President!!!

Sounds like a perfect career for him.

Starting PG for the Lakers OTOH??? Umm.... a lot more doubtful. Hey, I call em how I see em. Now prove me wrong DF.

Prove me wrong.

Obama's policies = GWB policies

Maybe DF can talk some sense into his friend and turn it around now before it's too late. I think in this regard, we could all use some Derek Fisher pep talkin'.

Jerry Buss should sign this guy as an assistant coach the minute his 2-year contract expires. In fact, if we win a three-peat, Fish should consider retiring and joining the bench as an assistant coach rather than playing. He is one of the unique NBA players like Phil who may end up having a more illustrious coaching career. Smart, articulate, President of the NBA Players Association, and proven championship character and swagger. And bleeds purple and gold just like his backcourt mate Kobe Bryant. He’ll be the next great Lakers coach.

Starting PG for the Lakers OTOH??? Umm.... a lot more doubtful. Hey, I call em how I see em. Now prove me wrong DF.

Prove me wrong.

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | September 09, 2010 at 01:24 PM

Derek Fisher Game 4 2009 NBA Finals:

Derek Fisher Game 3 2010 NBA Finals:

All the while Farmar was stewing on the bench.

Just like the Farmar for starter faction quickly found out the difference between Derek Fisher and a wannabe like Farmar.

Love Fisher!!! But dislike the Saints!!!!Go Vikings, Kick some butt!!!

Excellent post MM. DFish needs to focus his energy on advising Matt Barnes. Please DFish talk to him. You've had everyone from Rider to Rodman as teammates, so you've seen varying shades of craziness....and Barnes could use your wisdom.

I see Fish being either a coach or involved with the FO after he retires...

I also see him being the Mayor of Los Angeles...

Why hasn't McDonalds hired him to do a commercial on their 'Fillet of Fish'...seems perfect, at least for local commercials...

Dfish as a great coach one day is a lakertom prediction that may actually come true.

Hey MM,

Just an FYI - you never picked a winner for the Caption Contest of Racer Ron.

I think this is a great story! Before the New Orleans Saints take the field tonight to kickoff the 2010 NFL season, looking to defend their Super Bowl championship, they’ll seek advice from No. 2, who has a plethora of experience in winning back-to-back titles. Fisher is a well-spoken and well-respected player and person and bringing him in to motivate a team that has been motivated all last season to prove themselves from adversity is absolutely amazing. From one champion to another, Fisher can not just motivate the Saints, but create that desire and will to win another for the city for New Orleans. Fisher and Saints players both have something in common: unselfishness. Saints players didn't win the Super Bowl themselves, they won it for the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana. Fisher's longevity and will to win championships was not for himself, he did it for his ailing daughter, a city thirsty for a championship and to create a positive impact with the community and the NBA business through his great character as a competitor. Fisher is a class act.

Agree with #1 totally.

#2 - marginally agree. Don't think it's needed. I think they have their own mantra "(B Team) that seems to be working quite well.

#3 - totally disagree. I LOVE D-Fish as a player, leader for the Lakers, entertainer and athlete. But I don't want professional athletes or entertainers telling me how to vote. I don't care how smart they seem to be.

Cheers - PLG

NewMexicoLakerLifer - I thought about you when I was talking to the wifey about the game yesterday. I hope Brett can reach back in the time machine one more time (doubt it). Do it for Bud Grant, Fran the Man & the Purple People Eaters. Do it for Tommy Kramer & Cris Carter. Do it for John Randle, Chris Doleman and Henry Thomas....But most of all do it for Gary Andersen. Man I'm fired up and ready for some football now!

Derek Fisher has lived a charmed life so far, even with his daughter's illness. I do not think that is a coincidence. Fisher is a down to Earth guy! He proudly allows his faith to shine through as we have all witnessed. He has never backed away from a challenge. He constantly delivers in the clutch. He is universally respected as a person, as seen through his position in the player's association. Derek doesn't seem fake, but just the opposite: genuine! "Real" people tend to get chastised for being fake. What a paradox! My wife noticed his rather unique character during his rookie year. I was too busy watching Kobe and Snaq, and she quietly stated that Derek was her new favorite Laker. Man, is she good or what? I believe Derek will be a success wherever he goes in life... except Golden State.


Love the idea as D-Fish as Laker coach, have thought that for years. How about Fisher as B-Shaw's assistant for a couple of years, as Shaw's coach-in-waiting (much like Shaw and Rambis have been with Phil).

- - -

Yeah, those still questioning Fisher as a starter do have a point. I mean, he's only won as many titles as Magic Johnson won as starting at PG. The Lakers suffering a couple of miserable seasons when he was away was merely a coincidence since look at what the Lakers have done since he returned. Not much, not much at all...

Thanks for the welcome LakerTom!

Fisher has always been a stand up character. He has all the makings of a great coach. DFish is the floor leader of the Lakers, and his value can not be overestimated.

The manner in which the utah jazz fans disrepected him during the playoffs, was quite disappointing...

DFish is all heart!

@NEWMEXICOLAKERLIFER… New Orleans next game is versus the 49ers at Candlestick in SF. It is critical that DFish inspire The Saints to win tonight. We need them to come to SF as satisfied winners, not angry losers.

KOBE KALIFORNIA’S FINEST… You’re more than welcome. I agree about the Utah fans. I expected better from them, especially with such a classy owner and head coach.


>>>Just like the Farmar for starter faction quickly found out the difference
>>>between Derek Fisher and a wannabe like Farmar.

And the response to this is the same as the response to the general Fish vs Farmar debate.

Farmar was NEVER GIVEN THE CHANCE to hit the big game tying shot. He might have made it. He might have missed it.

Note that before that big 3-pointer in game 4 of the finals, Fisher was 0-for-5 on 3-pointers. Perhaps if Farmar had been starting, he would have hit 1-for-5 earlier and the Lakers would have already been tied and going for a win. Or perhaps he would have hit 2-for-5 of the 3 pointers and the Lakers would already be leading at that point.

Fisher's POOR SHOOTING up to that point in the game SET UP Fisher's heroic shot. If the starting point guard had shot well, there would have been no need for a heroic shot.

Fisher played 42 minutes in that game. He hit two clutch 3's -- one to send it to overtime and one in overtime. Farmar was only given 9 minutes. Perhaps if Farmar had played the 42 minutes and Fish the 9, the Lakers would have won in regulation.

You know what? Steve Blake didn't help the Lakers win that game either. Or Derrick Rose. Or Steve Nash.

If you don't get to play, you can't help the team.

Hey guys we got a new post up.

Laker Tom............I'll cheer for the Niners vs. the Saints............But got to cheer my Vikings Tonite!! LOL



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