Broderick Turner of the LA Times wrote:
Derek Fisher always has been a calm, steady influence for the Lakers.
He has been a rock for his younger teammates, a coach on the floor and a friend for Kobe Bryant in his times of need.
That hasn't changed, but Fisher senses the gravity of what's at stake and that is to win an NBA championship sooner rather than later and that has changed his way of dealing with his teammates.
"It used to be 100% calm and pretty chill," Fisher, 34, said after practice today. "I guess in my old age, it's dwindled down to about me being 75 to 80% calm and chill. But I mix in 20 to 25% of a little fire in there just to let guys know that this is important and that this is our job . . . and we've got to take it seriously. I try to make sure that I keep that on our minds." He spent his first eight years in the NBA with the Lakers before playing two years with Golden State and one season with Utah.
Fisher re-joined the Lakers a year ago as an elder statesman who has learned during his 13-year career how to become a leader.
"I feel like as a team we have a great opportunity," Fisher said. "I feel like individually I can help the team take advantage of the opportunity and I feel great about this time in my career, I really do."
Fisher was an integral part of the Lakers team that won three consecutive NBA championships, from 2000-2002.
That team had the dominate personality of Shaquille O'Neal, the drive and will of Bryant, the veteran presences of role players like Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Brian Shaw, Ron Harper and Fisher.
This current Lakers team lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals last June and Fisher says that it may have the same makeup as the Lakers' championship teams of earlier this decade.
"If you just look at the definition of potential, yeah, it's the same -- in terms of a lot young, physical, great talent," Fisher said. "But I think there are a lot of differences in terms of personalities and personnel and strengths and weaknesses that we've got."
Fisher pointed to how the 2000-02 champion Lakers had players on those teams who had won championships before.
Only Fisher and Bryant on this squad have won titles.
"But I think we have what we need to establish what we had earlier in this decade," Fisher said. "Kobe and I and the coaching staff and even a lot of our guys who were here last year, they don't want to really wait another year or two or three to get there. We want to do it right now."