Before I begin this note, I thought I’d relay a conversation I had with a couple of other writers in the press room in Phoenix. The topic? Whether there was any better player in the league to interview than Derek Fisher.
One nationally focussed scribe, who talks to just about everyone around the league, felt like Fisher was the most articulate, intelligent player in the league to interview. Another felt like he and Ray Allen were the two best.
Here in Los Angeles, we’ve been spoiled by having Fisher around these last few years, and during the Lakers championship runs earlier in the decade. He’s always thoughtful, polite and willing to connect emotionally to whatever he’s asked.
In the fall, at the height of the presidential campaign, a bunch of his teammates –Kobe Bryant included — started calling him “Barack.”
Anyway, I caught up with Fisher the other day at the All Star game and asked who he thought this game meant the most too: Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal.
Fisher’s response, as always, was thoughtful and on point.
“I think Shaq,” Fisher said. “At this point in his career, so many people didn’t think that he’d be at this point again, so I think you’ll see him –even though he always has fun — I think this is a different kind of All Star weekend for him.”