Derek Fisher hasn’t spoken publicly since signing a three-season, $10.5 million contract to return to the Lakers earlier this month, but he talked with several reporters for a few minutes during a break this morning at his youth basketball camp in Hawthorne.
Here’s some of what he had to say about returning to the Lakers:
“I definitely feel like I made the right decision (to re-sign). Kobe (Bryant) and I worked extremely hard to be in the position we’re in, in our careers. He’s obviously much more accomplished in his career, but we have a bond I didn’t want to break. … I’m excited about these next three years. I’m excited about what I can accomplish off the court in the next three years, too.”
“I guess maybe there was some frustration in how the negotiations were characterized (in the media) more than anything. Most of the time I wasn’t overly frustrated (by the slow-moving talks). I guess I was surprised at how much influence you guys (reporters) have. There were things I read that weren’t true and there were things I read that were partially true. It had to come from somewhere. I know it wasn’t coming from me. So that was a little eye-opening.”
“I don’t want to say I was frustrated. I don’t think that’s the right word. I clearly understand that this is a business and they (the Lakers) have a job to do in terms of negotiating contracts and trying to re-sign guys. I fully respect it. For me, it’s about bringing that mentality when I show up to work. It’s about business. It’s not as personal as you might think it is. You have a job to do. For the next three years, I’m ready to do my job the best I can do it. I still have the same goals in terms of helping the team. It’s just about winning games.”
“The pieces we’ve been able to add (free agents Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Theo Ratliff) were key pieces for what we need. I never really enjoyed the process of losing teammates and having new guys come in and then saying we got better because I’ve been to close to my teammates to say that. … I do think all three guys plus the two guys we drafted on the second round (Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks), are all going to help us in different ways. … It’s pretty exciting to think about.”