Derek Fisher scored 16 points including 4 key baskets to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 2-1 series advantage. “Just Derek being Derek, He makes big plays all the time. He never ceases to amaze me.” said Kobe Bryant who scored a game high of 29 points but did not score for the first 10 minutes in the fourth quarter. It was just 6 years ago when Derek made a miraculous 0.4 second shot against the outstretched arms of the San Antonio Spurs defense. He made it possible when everything seems to be impossible it’s the way he wants to be remembered… Fisher will soon retire and he knows he will never be an All-star or a hall of famer type of legacy he just wants to leave a mark, a performance or a shot that can be forever associate his greatness.
He took pride of his defense and will always take the charge when a driving player goes to the basket willing to sacrifice his 6-foot-1 body for the sake of the team. The unselfishness extends outside basketball sacrificing a guaranteed contract and money for the sake of his ailing baby girl Tatum.
It’s always been Fisher’s nature and that’s what makes him exceptional.
Ray Allen who scored 32 points last game almost made a record again in game 3 with one shy away from the NBA Finals record of most dismal shooting percentage hitting 0 out of 13 from the field thanks to Kevin Garnett’s offensive foul to Pau Gasol as Allen flunked up his layup close to the rim saving Chip Reiser and Dennis Johnson’s record at 0-14 credit to the Lakers defense contesting every Allen shots, and Fisher who religiously follows Allen giving him little space to operate.
In the end it was still a collective team defense and Fisher’s key baskets that gave them the win.
As “the beat L.A.” chant seems to slow down, Kobe close his fist and hug Fisher as Derek drove to the basket and got the “and one” call. It was Fisher all along… It wasn’t all about Shaq and Kobe or Pau and Kobe… the four championships “Fish” was the common denominator… Kobe knows that…the person who cleans up everybody’s mess and the person who sacrifices for the team and once again Derek delivers when his team needed the most…after all it was just Derek being Derek.