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NBA lockout: Derek Fisher to play in 'Obama Classic'

November 20, 2011 |  7:55 am

Derek FisherFinally, there comes a time the general public no longer has to see Derek Fisher wearing a suit.

Oh, the National Basketball Players Assn. president looked sharply dressed all right when he attended labor negotiations and articulated the union's viewpoint pretty clearly. But the sight of Fisher wearing a jersey Dec. 12 in the "Obama Classic" -- an exhibition game/fundraising event for President Obama's reelection campaign -- bodes much better with basketball fans. At least until they see him match up with Chris Paul, John Wall and Russell Westbrook and start clamoring again for the Lakers to upgrade at point guard.

Fans can clamor all they want to watch an array of current and former NBA stars, including Paul, Ray Allen, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Baron Davis, Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Tyson Chandler, Jamal Crawford, Rudy Gay, Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough, Dwight Howard, Juwan Howard, Antawn Jamison, Dahntay Jones, Brandon Knight, Kevin Love, Jamal Mashburn, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Quentin Richardson, Steve Smith, Jerry Stackhouse and Amare Stoudemire, as well as women's basketball standouts Cheryl Miller and Tina Thompson.

But this showcase game provides just another reminder on how this NBA lockout has taken fans for granted. Now it's politics' turn for the sake of raising reelection funds. According to Obama's website, tickets are priced at $200 (general admission), $500 (lower deck) and $5,000 (courtside) at a to-be-determined venue in Washington, D.C. Hopefully by this point, this exhibition game serves as an appetizer for the NBA's Christmas Day games and not as just a temporary distraction during a prolonged litigation.


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-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Lakers guard Derek Fisher plans to play in the Obama Classic on Dec. 12 in Washington. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times