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Category: Derek Fisher

Lakers reveal Mike Brown's nickname: 'All day, every day' [Video]

During games, Lakers Coach Mike Brown is jumping, screaming and excitedly patrolling the sideline. When the team practices, his booming voice can sometimes be heard from behind closed doors.

He's involved. He's passionate. He works hard.

And he expects the same in return.

During a Lakers event at Staples Center on Tuesday, the players disclosed their nickname for Brown: "All day, everyday."

Here's how it went down.

Kapono was asked by Lakers announcer Bill Macdonald how many shots he takes a day.

Joked Kapono: "If [Brown] has us in there from 9-5, then I'll probably stay until 5:45."

"Do I keep you that long?" Brown inquired.

Kapono then told the coach his nickname.

Said Macdonald, "By the way, this will be the last appearance as a L.A. Laker for Jason Kapono, so give him a hand. There will be an empty seat on the plane tomorrow."

Derek Fisher then interjected and defended his teammate.

"I got to have Jason's back on this one," Fisher said. "It was like Day 3 when we realized that it's a new day. We're going to be in this gym all day, every day until we get it right."

Brown rides the players hard. After training camp started Dec. 9, the Lakers didn't have a day off until Dec. 28, following a stretch of three games on consecutive nights.

The only other day the Lakers have had off this season, excluding travel days, was on Jan. 12, after a back-to-back against Phoenix and Utah.

All day, every day and the Lakers will play the Heat on Thursday in Miami.

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— Melissa Rohlin

 

Derek Fisher sounds uninterested in coaching

His teammates embrace him. His coaches respect him. And whether you appreciate his expereince and clutch shots or criticize his slowing speed, most Laker fans recognize the leadership qualities Derek Fisher brings.

That's why it's hardly a surprise the NBA.com general managers poll featured Fisher as the active player that would make the best head coach someday. What sounds surprising involves Fisher's apparant lack of interest in the profession.

"Coaching doesn't look that fun to me, to be honest," Fisher said after Tuesday's practice at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo. "They seem to stress a lot, and they spend probably more hours than we do watching film and preparing for the games and what not, so I have a lot of respect for the profession and the job that coaches do. But it's not something that I'm really looking forward to signing up to do. Especially anytime soon."

Later that night, Fisher participated in Lakers' All-Access, a $550 per plate dinner at Staples Center that featured various Laker players, A.C. Green and Mike Brown speak in a panel discussion. Fox Sports West Bill MacDonald asked all the Laker players in attendance (Fisher, Matt Barnes, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, Josh McRoberts) what job they were work should they stop playing basketball. Fisher used that to plug his basketball camp, saying he'd love to run that full time. Even if Fisher has long maintained he wants to paly out his remaining two-year contract with the Lakers, his sudden disinterest in coaching deviates from comments he made two years ago.

But Lakers Coach Mike Brown sounds totally fine with Fisher's lack of interest.

"I think they're wrong," Brown said with a smile. "I don't think he'd make a good coach. I say that because I still want to coach and I don't want him taking my job."

After removing the tongue out of his cheek, Brown went on to say Fisher has the "right presence" to choose any career path. But there's at least one coaching candidate he doesn't have to worry about should the Lakers struggle this season.

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Derek Fisher believes Lamar Odom will improve soon

The warm embraces. The 45-second video montage. The loud cheers permeating throughout Staples Center.

It was an atmosphere that Mavericks forward and former Laker Lamar Odom acknowledged as "surreal." It was a feeling Lakers forward Derek Fisher acknowledged as "emotional." And following the Lakers' 73-70 win Monday over the Dallas Mavericks, it's a game that appeared to mark a turning point in Odom's development.

After averaging 6.8 points, five rebounds and a 31.2% shooting clip for Dallas, Odom already exceeded that average with seven first-quarter points. He cooled off with 10 points and four rebounds, but it's an effort that led both TNT analyst Charles Barkley and Fisher believing the game served as a positive cathartic experience.

"Lamar is going to be fine," Fisher said. "I think he obviously struggled with the situation here early. But he's a pro. He's continuing to develop in his maturism. I'm sure he'll be fine."

Many teammates have expressed upset emotions over the circumstances surrounding the Lakers accommodating Odom's trade demand, but they've all publicly supported the decision. The atmosphere surrounding Odom's return clearly showed how everyone on the Lakers genuinely missed his presence.

Well, at least most of it.

"We weren't sure whether to take all the stars and celebrities coming out to last night's game as a sign they were there for us. Or they were there for Lamar," Fisher said with a smile. "But it was definitely an emotional feeling in the building last night."

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Five things Lakers miss about Lamar Odom

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Derek Fisher overcomes early-season struggles with game-winner

Just before the Lakers broke away from their huddle, Coach Mike Brown reiterated the obvious solution on how to secure a game-winnner. 

"Kobe, you're our best player," Brown said. "Go win the play for us."

Even if Brown and the 18,997 at Staples Center initially thought that entailed Bryant scoring the game-winning basket against the Dallas Mavericks, there was a deeper meaning. It all pointed to Brown's recent revelation that his long-term goal would involve a much more balanced offense that featured little of Bryant's high-volume shooting. 

So there Bryant stood at the top of the key in an isolation set ready to shoot a potential game-winning shot against the Dallas Mavericks. Instead, Bryant saw Dallas guard Jason Terry double team him with Shawn Marion. Bryant then passed to Derek Fisher partly because it appeared Terry wouldn't have time to switch and mostly because of the trust the two forged since entering the NBA as rookies in 1996.

Fisher then squared up, elevated his shot and sank it into the net with 3.1 seconds remaining to clinch the Lakers' 73-70 victory Monday over the Mavericks.

"I don’t think he knew I was going to shoot it," Fisher said, "but he just trusted me to make the right play at that point."

In part, Fisher's game-winner served two purposes. First, the Lakers' offense looked beyond ugly and featured a seven-point third quarter, but the Lakers made some progress in learning how to win without Bryant carrying the load. Secondly, it cast light on Fisher appearing to make a breakthrough after largely struggling on his conditioning and shooting percentage, partly because of his role as the NBA Players Assn. president during the protracted labor negotiations. 

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Lakers' offense features little chemistry

With his arms pointing out toward the block, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant hoped Pau Gasol would cut across the lane to receive an entry pass. Instead, Gasol missed the body language, Bryant's pass went into traffic and the Lakers turned the ball over.

With his eyes darting toward the baseline, Lakers center Andrew Bynum shouted to Jason Kapono about moving into a passing lane on the perimeter so he could kick out of a double team. Nothing happened, so Bynum settled for a poor left hook that hit off the rim.

And with Bynum established on the low block, Lakers guard Darius Morris made perfect eye contact with him. But Morris' entry pass went directly toward Bynum's ankles instead of his hands.

These plays may appear isolated but they represent a much more complete picture of the Lakers' fragmented offense in their 102-94 loss Saturday to the Clippers, more than even Bryant's 42 points on 14-for-28 shooting. Regardless of whether Bryant fired good looks like he did in the second half or remained trigger happy in the first half, a constant remained. Despite the Lakers' Big Three in Bryant, Gasol (14) and Bynum (12) each cracking double figures, the offense hardly looked in sync. 

The Lakers mostly blamed the loss on the 50-42 rebounding disparity, particularly the 17-11 deficit on the offensive glass. But that effort is an anomaly compared to the rest of the season and arguably can be attributed at least partly to the Lakers playing five of their league-high 14 games in the past week. The Lakers' chemistry on offense, however, has remained flimsy and unpredictable all season. 

"It's moving in the right direction, but we have a ways to go," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. "We don't have a great feel of what we want all the time when it comes to different options. Sometimes when we forget for a second or third or fourth option then we have a tendency to look for someone to help us out. the guy who can always help us out is Kobe. Thats the thing we have to make sure we keep trying to guard against."

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Lakers largely improve point guard play

On a night the Lakers lost point guard depth, the team expanded it in its play.

They may have lost reserve Steve Blake, his improved sharp shooting and his bench leadership. But they replaced it with an efficient Derek Fisher and a prepared Darius Morris, a unit that combined for 14 assists. The Lakers' 97-92 victory Friday over the Cleveland Cavaliers marks just the first of many games they'll be without Blake. He's expected to remain sidelined for three to four weeks because of fractured cartilage that connects the rib to the sternum. But at least for one game, the Lakers proved they're capable of elevating their point guard play.

For Fisher, that involved dropping 10 assists, collecting three steals and committing zero turnovers. Fisher's assist mark actually somewhat mirrors the six he's averaged this month in eight games, but he appeared much more comfortable running the offense in rhythm. He threw two early entry passes to Andrew Bynum. Fisher made a beautiful left-handed pass inside to Pau Gasol after drawing a double-team on a pick-and-roll. He constantly set up Matt Barnes when he moved off the ball.

"The one guy who stands out in my mind is Derek Fisher," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.

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Five things to watch in Lakers-Suns matchup

Grant Hill

Some things to keep an eye on when the Lakers (6-4) host the Phoenix Suns (4-4) Tuesday evening at Staples Center.

1. Can the Lakers limit their turnovers? This is an important variable regardless of the opponent. But the importance heightens against Phoenix. If the Lakers maintain their 16.7 turnovers they've averaged through 10 games against the Suns, they'll probably lose.

The Suns unsurprisingly have shown through eight games that they're much dangerous offensively when they run in transition. The Lakers simply won't be able to catch up because of their lacking athleticism if they continue committing turnovers?

2. How Shannon Brown perform in his return to Staples Center? Lakers guard Kobe Bryant made it clear he's not looking forward to guarding him because he considered him one of his "younger brothers." On paper, Brown's averaged only 8.3 points on 32.8% shooting this season, which bodes even worse than his inconsistent 42.5% clip last season with the Lakers.

But this storyline remains compelling just because of the conflicted feelings Brown and his teammates have regarding this game. Brown is well-respected in the Lakers' locker room, and Bryant even went so far to say after the Lakers' win over Memphis on Sunday that he doesn't want to guard Brown because he often mentored him. 

3. Can the Lakers contain Steve Nash? Another top point guard, another immense challenge for the Lakers. Of course, this match-up never should center solely on how Nash fares one-on-one with Derek Fisher. It involves how the Lakers' collective unit ensures there's enough help and that Nash doesn't facilitate to his teammates as much as he can. 

4. Kobe Bryant-Grant Hill match-up will be intriguing. Hill typically guards Bryant whenever the two meet up, and it should be captivating. Bryant, who's led the league in shots taken at 23, surely won't decrease that against the Suns. He said he still loathes Phoenix for eliminating the Lakers in the first round of both the 2006 and 2007 playoffs. Meanwhile, Hill has shown this season he still has what it takes as a 39-year-old to defend the opposing team's top players, even if he's an off-season removed from knee surgery

5. How will Andrew Bynum fight through double teams? Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez will probably assume heavy minutes to minimize the presence Bynum and Pau Gasol bring. As Golden State and Memphis quickly found out, the best approach involves throwing constant double teams at Bynum. It remains to be seen whether Gortat and Lopez will play at the same time, since Channing Frye's outside shooting remains solid. But it's something for which Bynum should be prepared. 

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--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will match up with Phoenix forward Grant Hill tonight at Staples Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Lakers offer incomplete picture through 10 games

The Lakers' 6-4 start marks their worst 10-game beginning since they opened the 2005-06 season with Smush Parker at point guard and went 4-6. There are plenty of positive and negative developments as well as a slew of uncertainties that make it hard to see what happens next. 

The Good

1. Work Ethic — This team's identity immediately flipped into a grind-it-out team partly because of Mike Brown's coaching style and partly because of the uncertain transition period. The Lakers have high expectations and the execution has been far from pretty. But it's nice for a change to see the Lakers actually trying in every single game.

2. Kobe Bryant's shooting — It's beyond comprehension how Bryant's been able to adjust his shot and go 49% in the past four games despite the torn ligament in his right wrist still ailing him. But he somehow does it.

3. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol — Bynum stormed out the gate strong and showed more offensive aggression. Meanwhile, Gasol has adjusted nicely by becoming a facilitator and maintaining a consistent midrange jump shot.

4.Half-court defense — Expect plenty of free-taco nights. The Lakers have allowed only 90.7 points per game, fifth best in the league.

5. Josh McRoberts — He doesn't exactly replace Lamar Odom, but his hustle and ability to hit his shots   has proved infectious when he's in the lineup. 

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Mike Brown admits struggles in handling compacted schedule

As he headed toward the trainer's room Monday, Lakers guard Derek Fisher simply shook his head. 

The Lakers' game tonight against the Phoenix Suns marks the second contest of a five-game stretch this week, leaving them with a late-night flight to Utah for Wednesday's game and Monday and Thursday as the only practice days. A reporter pointed out that next week's schedule of games against Dallas (Jan. 16), at Miami (Jan. 19) and at Orlando (Jan. 20) at least gives them four practice days. But that hardly assuaged Fisher's concerns.

When Coach Mike Brown stepped out toward the Lakers' practice court, Fisher said the following within earshot: "This week, we say we wish we had more practices, but when the practices come next week, we're going to say we need more rest."

Brown, Fisher and a small group of reporters laughed at the thought process, but it epitomizes an approach to this year's compacted schedule that Brown admits he's struggled handling. 

"I've been trying to teach and learn and all that, while not trying to do too much," he said. "But I have done that at times."

That's included three-hour practices. A few that were open to reporters included hourlong shooting sessions. After training camp started Dec. 9, the Lakers didn't have a single day off until Dec. 28, after playing three games on consecutive nights.

Brown initially wanted an even more intense schedule, but scrapped some of those plans. Instead of having six two-a-day sessions during training camp, the Lakers had three. Brown reduced the playbook to a third of its original size, and he has tried to limit recent morning shootarounds to no longer than 90 minutes. 

"We knew it was going to be a challenge," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said. We knew we would face adversity first. We knew all that coming in."

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Derek Fisher makes game-defining play in Lakers' 92-89 victory over Denver Nuggets

The Lakers trailed by two, and when Kobe Bryant doesn't have the ball there's usually one other teammate perfect to have it.

Derek Fisher.

He's hit these shots numerous times in his 16-year career and in nearly every circumstances. Fisher nailed it even with only .04 of a second left (2004 Western Conference Finals against the Spurs). He converted on a drive even when players mauled him at the basket. (2010 NBA Finals against Boston). Fisher sank a shot when his opponent gave him way too much to operate (2009 NBA Finals).

This time, Fisher's shot didn't go in yet it still provided another mark in his storied history as a clutch performer. His three-pointer at the end of the 24-second shot clock rimmed out, but FIsher dove all the way to other side of the court. He slid between Ty Lawson and Andre Miller, grabbed the ball and immediately called timeout with 2:29 remaining.

It marked what Coach Mike Brown said became "probably the most key play of the game" in the Lakers' 92-89 victory Saturday over the Denver Nuggets. That's because the Lakers remained tied with Denver at 89-89, and set the tone for what would transpire next. 

Andrew Bynum's alley-oop lob that represented part of his 29 points and gave the Lakers' a 91-89 lead with 1:52 left.Steve Blake chased down Danilo Gallinari that prevented him from making a game-tying layup. The Lakers closed out enough that Denver forwarrd Al Harrington hardly had a good look in his missed a game-tying three-pointer before time expired. 

"That's Derek," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "That's how you win championships by making plays like that." 

It's also how Fisher maintained longevity and ensured his 500th consecutive start.

"A hustle play in a lot of ways symbolized who I was coming into this league, who i've tried to be my 16 years in and probably what I'll be remembered as going out," Fisher said. "I was a guy who was willing to do whatever it takes for his team to win. It doesn't look great all the time. But I won't be as big of a name. But I'll always find a way to help my team in more times than not."

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