Kobe and Fisher

BOSTON — Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher are two victories away from earning their fifth NBA championship together. They broke into the NBA together in 1996, battling each other in practice and bonding down through the years as close teammates. They are far different people, however, as Fisher explained today after practice.

“I think there’s a balance to it,” Fisher said of their relationships with their teammates. “Sometimes he refers to it as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in terms of how we go about balancing it. And, you know, I don’t think it’s necessarily him tearing guys up in a way that’s demeaning or belittling to our guys on our team, but just a different style of communicating it. …

“I’m a guy who likes to observe and kind of lay back and see how things are going and then, you know, fill in the gaps as I see it. And so our teams over the years having strong personalities like Shaq (O’Neal) and Kobe and Phil (Jackson), I’ve always filled in the between those guys on how to keep this thing going, because my only concern is for us to win. I love everybody, but if we don’t win, I don’t love you as much.”

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