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Derek Fisher becomes NBA's active leader in consecutive games played

It was a basketball milestone that, for Derek Fisher, had little to do with basketball.

The Lakers' 115-108 victory Tuesday over the Washington Wizards marked Fisher's 434th consecutive regular-season game, the longest streak for an active NBA player. Fisher reached that milestone after Portland guard Andre Miller ended his 632 consecutive-game streak after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday against Phoenix for shoving Blake Griffin in the Clippers' 100-91 loss Sunday to the Blazers. It wasn't so much being on the leader board that made Fisher proud as it was the amount of work he'd put in to get himself there.

"It's more so that to me than about playing 400-plus basketball games," Fisher said of playing so many consecutive games. Former Laker A.C. Green currently holds the record for the most consecutive games ever played by an NBA player. "There's a lot of days as an athlete where physically you shouldn't be out there. But when you remember those days when your parents or your uncle or grandmother or somebody that had to catch the bus, to get a ride, to get to work. You can't use a sore back, sore neck or sore ankle not to go and lace them up."

Fisher's milestone came on a night he didn't play particularly well, going eight points on 3-of-11 shooting,  including one sequence in which Wizards guard John Wall blocked Fisher's shot while driving through the lane. Laker fans may debate Fisher's worth to the team, but his work ethic is never in doubt. It's something the regular Joe can appreciate, a job that you do despite the frustration and from which you gain satisfaction by surviving the grind.

That's why Fisher's playoff performances over the years are gratifying to see -- they symbolize a  tangible payoff from being relentless. His performances may not always be pretty, and his value may remain in question, but Fisher is tireless in his efforts to hold the Lakers together, as well as in his work as president of the National Basketball Players Assn. And for that, he should be lauded.

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

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Comments () | Archives (28)

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Ah fisher fisher fisher. It's a trip how some people here love this man so much, at the same time it's a trip how some hate him so much, too. Me, I don't hate fisher (anymore) and for dang sure I don't love him either. I'm in the middle with him. Like I said before, it's not his fault he's in there playing. By now I know what he's gonna bring every game (close to nothing).
Ok, fisher has hit some clutch/lucky shots in the past, but those are few and FAR between. What I do, see fisher do alot of and quite frequently (like every single game) is bad entry passes, missed defensive assignments, miss/brick layups, miss wide open shots, bricks early in the shot clock. But this what I'm use to with fisher, so I don't even get frustrated anymore when I see him play.
21 games, the Lakers have played so far and believe me, every game I watch hoping fisher plays well. I mean why not, he's in there and going nowhere, so why not root for him? At the end it's better for the team if he does, right?
21 games man! I have to say tho, out of the 21 games I've rooted for him, he's let me down in about 20 of them.

Fisher is the worst PG to ever play in the NBA.

What the hell was Jerry West doing when he drafted this loser?

This guy has done nothing at all to help his teams whin FIVE rings.

What a bum! Phil Jackson is the worst coach in history for continuing to start this guy!

I have to close my eyes everytime he touches the ball, or even walks onto a basketball court!!!!! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I don't think I can watch my team THREE PEAT with him as the stating PG!!!

Andrew Bynum is coming in at a close 452nd.

@TOM DANIELS… Loved your post. I was waiting to see who was man enough to point out that Kobe’s 3-point attempt with 16 seconds left on the clock the play before was just as egregious as Lamar’s ill-advised corner 3. Funny how Lamar gets singled out and Kobe gets a pass. I thought that overall this was one of Lamar’s best games in what is still a break out season for him. It’s a shame that screwed up not only by taking the poor shot but also by trying to explain how it was not so bad.

Frankly, those two shots just proved that the Lakers basically have zero respect for the Washington Wizards or their chances to defeat the champs. Of course, blowing a 19 point third quarter lead with careless offense and half-hearted defense can sometimes come back to bite you, as the Lakers have already seen happen numerous times before this season. Here’s hoping that Andrew’s return will clear the cobwebs, refresh the minds, and get the Lakers back to playing championship basketball.
……………………………..

TOM.

Congrats to Fish, the AC Green of our time!

Bay to LA

"KobeMVP88, you are correct, an allstar pg is not necessary for a championship. If you look through all of the championship rosters, the most common trait you'll find is a dominant big man. Every once in a while, a wing player has come through and disproved that theory but historically, teams that work from the inside out beat teams that work from the outside in.

You also touched on a point that I found very true, Fisher is a role player. When I argue he should be playing less, that is my thinking, he is a role player, not a starter. His veteran experience is great for a backup role. I don't really think we'd be seeing as many complaints about him if he was just a solid veteran coming off the bench instead of being a starting PG who is in charge of slowing down the best PGs in the league every night.

I say let Blake/Shannon/etc run with those guys all night and if you need a big shot down the stretch, you have a fully rested guy on the bench who can deliver."
======

Maybe, but why alter the chemistry of the starters or the second unit? Do we know how effective Fish would be coming off the bench at his age? My recollection is that when Bruce Bowen finally went to the bench he was ineffective and faded into oblivion. Derek is accustomed to starting and playing alongside Kobe, so it is almost senseless to even experiment with this. It's not like this team is desperate. Blake is the same kind of role player as Fish and I certainly prefer Shannon Brown coming off the bench. He's Kobe's back up at the shooting guard position anyway.

If Phil Jackson believes a change is in order, then he will make that change. He has done it before when BJ Armstrong replaced John Paxson in the starting lineup for the Bulls in the 1992-93 season and when Fish replaced Harper in the 2000-01 season, but as I recall that was due to injury. Which goes to show how important that position was; I forget what even happened.

As for the common trait being a dominant big man for championship teams, you are absolutely, positively, unequivocally, categorically and indubitably 100% CORRECT about that! Even the Bulls had excellent low post defenders. This is still a big man's game and I suspect it always will be. Did you know that until George Mikan came along, big men were used for jump balls and then they were sat down because they were too clumsy? While Bill Russell is often given the credit for paving the way for dominant big men on championships teams, Mikan paved the way for him.

I contrasted the guard positions because while I was well aware that the point guard position featured few All-Stars on the championship teams for the last two decades, it is equally as fascinating that the shooting guard position featured 85% All-Stars. Who would have thought that the next important position to a dominating big man would be the shooting guard, not the point guard who supposedly runs the show.

"Maybe, but why alter the chemistry of the starters or the second unit? Do we know how effective Fish would be coming off the bench at his age? My recollection is that when Bruce Bowen finally went to the bench he was ineffective and faded into oblivion. Derek is accustomed to starting and playing alongside Kobe, so it is almost senseless to even experiment with this. It's not like this team is desperate. Blake is the same kind of role player as Fish and I certainly prefer Shannon Brown coming off the bench. He's Kobe's back up at the shooting guard position anyway.

If Phil Jackson believes a change is in order, then he will make that change. He has done it before when BJ Armstrong replaced John Paxson in the starting lineup for the Bulls in the 1992-93 season and when Fish replaced Harper in the 2000-01 season, but as I recall that was due to injury. Which goes to show how important that position was; I forget what even happened.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 08, 2010 at 02:06 PM "

My thinking is that when questions come up during the regular season, that is the time to try out different things so you know you have the best foot forward in the playoffs. I also think that these guys are all professionals and can adapt to different situations. If a player gets moved from the starting rotation to the bench, they should be able to handle that and understand why it happened and hopefully use it as motivation.

haters gon' hate.

My thinking is that when questions come up during the regular season, that is the time to try out different things so you know you have the best foot forward in the playoffs. I also think that these guys are all professionals and can adapt to different situations. If a player gets moved from the starting rotation to the bench, they should be able to handle that and understand why it happened and hopefully use it as motivation.

Posted by: Bay to LA | December 08, 2010 at 02:25 PM
====

Nothing would bother me one way or the other on this issue and these are all valid points. Continuity has proven to be a big plus for this team, too, especially with Kobe and Fish. You remember who assumed the leadership role during that mid-season stretch when Kobe was out last season around the All-Star break, don't you? And they played pretty darn well, barely losing to the Chowds by a point at Staples. Phil Jackson does so much experimenting in other ways during the season with his rotations, that who knows whether he's even thinking about something like this. Besides, I don't see that Fish is "killing" us like others do. He had a slump, but is that a reason to bench him? We'll see.

@888… Bottom line, basketball is still about putting the ball in the hoop. That’s why the highest paid and most valued NBA players are almost always great scorers like Magic, Kareem, Bird, MJ, Kobe. While you need point guards to run the offense and bigs to control the boards and anchor the paint, the best teams have always been led by great offensive players, guys whose scoring can carry a team.

What separates the truly great players from the pack is their ability to do other things besides scoring to help their teams win, be it rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots, defense, energy, or leadership. Magic was a master of this art as were Kareem, Bird, MJ, and Kobe. Some were great passers, some great defenders, and some great rebounders but all were first and foremost great scorers.
….

One thing I truly hope will not happen when Phil retires is for the Lakers to hire a defensive oriented coach. That would be repeating what I consider to be the 49ers ownership’s biggest mistake – turning over the reins of a franchise known for its great offensive players and teams to a defensive oriented coach who wants to slow the game down, reduce scoring, control the pace, and limit possessions.
……………………………..

TOM.


mclyne, perhaps you could post that rap song in words so we can understand your furious nature a bit better. As it is I hear babble.

D Fish the reason we won Game 3 in the Garden!

Ay gettin closer to the lead . but D is still up there... n look at this http://sportscomplainer.com/nba i found it through some message board. useful thing. ull c what i mean. ill tty after the weeks games to see where were at..

@criticalthinker55
ha! very funny. If you hear it as a song, I'll let you turn it into a rap one.

As for winning game 3 in the Garden, maybe you should put that on a banner and hang it in your gym.

Or maybe one that reads: "We almost one game seven of the 2009 NBA Finals"

So let me get this straight

reasonable stat line
Fisher has a bad game

horrible stat line
Fisher has a good game

A paradox that defies sound reasoning

Intangible-
abstract, vague, invisible, dim, elusive, shadowy, airy, unreal, indefinite, impalpable, unsubstantial

Ok, fisher has hit some clutch/lucky shots in the past, but those are few and FAR between.

--------------

Lucky is when you hit a shot or 2 here or there. Fisher has done it far too many times for it to be "lucky". Fish may have his early and mid season struggles, but in the playoffs he always always shows his value. All too often we place too much stock on the regular season and forget what he does in the playoffs. Then again, this goes for several of the Lakers. Don't worry about what he's done in the first 21 games... worry about what he does during the last month of the regular season and the playoffs. It's no coincidence why his minutes, averages, and %'s all rise come playoff time.

I thought he had that record a long time ago. But he desreves these accolades and more.


Wes

For the haters... there are reasons why the team and especially Kobe have a ton of respect for Fish. It's not just Phil. Obviously they see, just like those of us who love Fish see it. Rub your eyes a bit and open them. Take 5 minutes to understand his role on the team and why he's so valueable.

Fish has what most new players and some younger players don't:

class.


I've had plenty of employees who were great people, and not terribly good performers in the workplace. I've also had multitudes of superb employees who were just a bunch of jerks.

When the poop hit the fan, the morally grounded folks "put up" and the others "shut up".


Peace!

DBDH!

Ah fisher fisher fisher. It's a trip how some people here love this man so much, at the same time it's a trip how some hate him so much, too. Me, I don't hate fisher (anymore) and for dang sure I don't love him either. I'm in the middle with him. Like I said before, it's not his fault he's in there playing. By now I know what he's gonna bring every game (close to nothing).
Ok, fisher has hit some clutch/lucky shots in the past, but those are few and FAR between. What I do, see fisher do alot of and quite frequently (like every single game) is bad entry passes, missed defensive assignments, miss/brick layups, miss wide open shots, bricks early in the shot clock. But this what I'm use to with fisher, so I don't even get frustrated anymore when I see him play.
21 games, the Lakers have played so far and believe me, every game I watch hoping fisher plays well. I mean why not, he's in there and going nowhere, so why not root for him? At the end it's better for the team if he does, right?
21 games man! I have to say tho, out of the 21 games I've rooted for him, he's let me down in about 20 of them.


Posted by: Magia32

The Lakers will win with or without Fisher becuase his contibution is next to nothing and they have enough talent to overcome all of his shortcomings on defense and offense. I don't remember any player as bad as Fisher that people talked about his leadership.

It's amazing how bad Fisher plays on a nightly basis and most of the Laker sheep still think he is a valuable player. One of the most OVERRATED players in the history of the NBA. Career stats terrible, basketball skills almost non exsistent. His whole mystique is based on a few lucky shots because he has shown that he is not a consistent player. How about the few times last season during the regular season when they gave him the last shot and he was blocked one time and shot an airball the next. How easily the sheep forget !!!

"Fish has what most new players and some younger players don't:

class.


I've had plenty of employees who were great people, and not terribly good performers in the workplace. I've also had multitudes of superb employees who were just a bunch of jerks.

When the poop hit the fan, the morally grounded folks "put up" and the others "shut up".


Peace!

DBDH!

Posted by: Don't Blame Del Harris! | December 08, 2010 at 03:34 PM

"

????? There are few bad apples around the league but you really think most new players lack class? Based on what???

I guess the Fish haters here are more knowledgable about good TEAM basketball players than Jerry West, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and Kobe Bean Bryant.

How come they aren't GMs, or coaches in the NBA? I'll tell you why, because they don't know what the hell they are talking about.

KM8,


"If Phil Jackson believes a change is in order, then he will make that change. He has done it before when BJ Armstrong replaced John Paxson in the starting lineup for the Bulls in the 1992-93 season and when Fish replaced Harper in the 2000-01 season, but as I recall that was due to injury. Which goes to show how important that position was; I forget what even happened."


So it is so important a position that it does not require an all-star PG, just regular role player PG? Hmmm does not make any sense.


I think if PJ was given an all-star PG he will be very thankful and his teams will be even better.


Imagine replace Bj Armstrong with Joe Dumars or Isiah Thomas.
Then replace Fisher with Deron Williams or Russel Westbrook.


Not having an all-star PG does not mean it would NOT HAVE IMPROVED PJ's Championship team.


Utah came close defeating PJ/Bulls team. Boston came close beating PJ/Lakers team, actually they beat them once and loss one.


But change Fisher with a Deron Williams, I do not think it would have been a very close championship game. Laker would have dominated.


If PJ's prob;lem is finding a Superstar PG to play with Bryant and MJ then that is another story, a totally different reasoning. But to say it would not matter to have a better PG if foolish.

"I guess the Fish haters here are more knowledgable about good TEAM basketball players than Jerry West, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and Kobe Bean Bryant.

How come they aren't GMs, or coaches in the NBA? I'll tell you why, because they don't know what the hell they are talking about.

Posted by: mclyne | December 08, 2010 at 03:57 PM "

Wow you really take the Fisher bashing personally. You have never once questioned one of Phil's decisions or strategies?

Phil has a reputation for being stubborn and unconventional at times. I actually wouldn't be surprised if he holds back on phasing Fisher out of the starting lineup just to show he isn't going to let the media push his buttons.

This means squat...who cares...what have you done for me lately...trade him!!! bench him!!!

(in my best Fisher hater font)

Hating Fisher is so 2009. Didn't you get the memo after Game 3 of last year's final? All is forgiven. Get with the times.

to all fisher lover u did think why it takes time mitch signing fisher bec he know that fisher is not good anymore and cant guard opposing point guard..with out kobe and pj fisher is now in another team sitting in the bench..if we really love threepeat fisher need to be change in starting line up..coach pj said two yearsrs in a row that we have a problem in opposing point guard so why?why?pj still letting fisher to be starter..it doesnt make sense...hope pj nxt yr not coaching anymre fisher stay in bench...

I dont hate fisher i dont think anyone hates fish,fish is
just not the player he use to be.if you just on the court and
not producing and the coach dont take you out sure you can
play many years but that dont make you an iron man.fish
cant guard anybody cant shoot half the time no assist.

i agree phil is stubbon any other coach would bench fish.
oncne phil retire you will see a better playing team.phil
need fish to help him then he should hire him as an assistant
or dont put fish in the game until the end so he can win the
game because that the only gas left in fish tank.


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