"There's a reason why players that have multiple championships have multiple championships" - Kobe on why Derek Fisher was irreplaceable

usatsi_6065858

As longtime Los Angeles Lakers teammates, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher shared numerous unforgettable moments that solidified their connection both on and off the court. Having had Fisher as his backcourt partner since his rookie year, Bryant often spoke highly of him, acknowledging his teammate's basketball IQ, work ethic, and invaluable contributions to the team.

That said, Kobe knew it would be nearly impossible to find another teammate like Fisher the moment he learned about the point guard's final Lakers exit in 2012. For Bryant, Derek was one of the few players who had it in him since Day 1.

"That doesn't happen by accident," Bryant told ESPN. "There's a reason why players that have multiple championships have multiple championships. There's a certain characteristic and an understanding and knowledge and that's not something that's easily taught. You kind of have to go through it and it kind of has to be part of your DNA from the beginning. So, that's something that's obviously tough to replace."

Playing without Fisher was easier said than done

Bryant and Fisher's synergy on the court was a testament to years of shared experiences, challenges, and triumphs. Together, they have showcased a level of chemistry that was rare to find, especially in the NBA. Therefore, Kobe had to accept that adjusting to new teammates and building the same level of trust and camaraderie he had with Fisher would be easier said than done.

"Very difficult," Bryant said of playing without Fisher. "I'm not used to it because I've been with him my entire career, aside from that little stint that he had away from us. So, it's very different for me. It's pretty weird."

Nevertheless, Bryant did his best not to be too emotional about Fisher's departure. At the end of the day, Kobe understood that it was how things worked in the NBA.

"I don't get that sentimental about it," the five-time champion confided. "I texted him [Fisher] and we kind of had a laugh about it because he knows how I am. We just talked about the good times and what a fun time it was to go to battle together and things like that, but that's about as sentimental as I'm going to get."

Fisher understood Kobe more than anybody else

On paper, Bryant reached astronomical success when he was playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal. However, that wasn't the case through Kobe's lens. For "Black Mamba," the best player to coexist with was none other than Fisher. With that in mind, Bryant demanded that the Lakers bring "D-Fish" back in 2007.

Unsurprisingly, the feeling was mutual. According to Fisher, his bond with Bryant extended beyond the basketball court. Over the years, the lefty guard knew he became more than just a teammate to Bryant. Looking back, "D-Fish" embraced the fact that he was Kobe's trusted companion in the journey towards success and the player who truly complimented the Lakers superstar's mentality and approach to the game.

“Listen, Kobe’s always been like, 'Everybody’s in my way, I have goals, you're either with me or not.' From the start, he had a vision of how he wanted his career to go, what he wanted to accomplish, and how hard he was going to work to get it. I picked up on that early on, which is why I love the guy. In reverse, as we’ve both aged, I think he respected the things I had to do to stay at a high level," Derek once pointed out.

A Lakers legend

Fisher's career in the NBA spanned over 18 seasons, but it was his time with the Lakers that truly solidified his status as an underrated legend. Drafted by L.A. in 1996, Derek quickly made an impact on the team with his basketball IQ, work ethic, and clutch. His calm demeanor under pressure earned him the respect of not only Bryant but also fans and fellow NBA players alike.

Fisher was part of the Lakers' dominant years in the early 2000s and also played a pivotal role in the team's back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. But for the Lakers faithful, "D-Fish" was known for hitting crucial shots when it mattered the most, particularly during the 2004 NBA Playoffs when he hit a game-winning jumper with just 0.4 seconds left on the clock against the San Antonio Spurs.

Off the court, Fisher's impact was equally profound. He was admired for his professionalism, integrity, and dedication to the game. He also once served as the president of the National Basketball Players Association, advocating for the rights and well-being of his fellow players.

All told, Derek didn't rack up individual accolades, but his career is nothing short of legendary. Some fans may have overlooked his true value as a consistent and reliable role player but never Bean.

OTHER NEWS

15 minutes ago

Shocking moment a banned driver reverses over two elderly sisters as they walked across a pub car park arm-in-arm and were left with life threatening injuries

15 minutes ago

S&P/TSX composite index closes down, U.S. markets mixed

15 minutes ago

FEMA's disaster relief fund will run out of money by mid-August, Mayorkas says

17 minutes ago

Chicago homeowner fights off burglar with frying pan: ‘My wife’s not happy about the decision I made’

18 minutes ago

Argos defensive lineman Ceresna looking forward to facing Edmonton Elks

18 minutes ago

23-year-old new mom attempts to become 1st woman to win gender-neutral title in ACL cornhole event

19 minutes ago

Biden and Trump prepare for the first 2024 debate

19 minutes ago

Seeing is believing? Not necessarily when it comes to video clips of Biden and Trump

19 minutes ago

Phillies host the Diamondbacks in first of 3-game series

19 minutes ago

Soccer stardom beckons for Amlani Tatu and a generation of African-Australian teenagers

19 minutes ago

Titans HC discusses record-breaking star's return from devastating injury

19 minutes ago

Mets RHP Luis Severino moves up to start against the Cubs instead of facing the Yankees

19 minutes ago

3 underrated Netflix movies you should watch this weekend (June 21-23)

19 minutes ago

Fans Stunned Over Caitlin Clark's Rank in Early All-Star Voting

19 minutes ago

Josh Giddey didn't want to come off the bench for Thunder and asked for trade, GM Sam Presti says

19 minutes ago

These ‘Bridgerton’ Halloween Costumes Will Make You Feel Like Royalty

19 minutes ago

Don't miss 'affecting and intense' British black comedy on Netflix

19 minutes ago

Shane Lowry tied for 6th as play suspended at Travelers Championship

19 minutes ago

The Tesla Cybertruck Is Getting Big Charging Improvements ‘Soon’

19 minutes ago

Erik ten Hag in hot water at Man United 'with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and other figures angry after he revealed details of his showdown talks with the club in Ibiza while on Dutch TV'

19 minutes ago

Video: Boy Meets World stars Will Friedle and Rider Strong apologize for defending sex offender Brian Peck - years before Drake Bell revealed he was abused by him in Quiet On Set

19 minutes ago

Video: Shocking moment a banned driver reverses over two elderly sisters as they walked across a pub car park arm-in-arm and were left with life threatening injuries

19 minutes ago

Video: Maya Jama turns up the heat in a cut-out orange dress as she returns to the Love Island villa for another shocking dumping

19 minutes ago

Levels of contamination in the Seine remain unsafe for Paris Olympians, report says

19 minutes ago

Dream's Rhyne Howard out indefinitely with left ankle injury

19 minutes ago

Netherlands unhappy after 'legal goal' ruled out in France draw

26 minutes ago

Alberta woman with cerebral palsy fights to be able to use her mobility scooter

26 minutes ago

Gareth Southgate to make England changes with fitness concerns including Harry Kane

26 minutes ago

Kaz Grala set for Cup Series debut on home track in USA TODAY 301

26 minutes ago

VAR drama sinks Netherlands

26 minutes ago

Most Americans do not know these 3 important facts about Social Security benefits

26 minutes ago

The reason Sir Jim Ratcliffe is furious with Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

26 minutes ago

Age in America: How to bridge generational gaps in the workplace

26 minutes ago

King Charles and Queen Camilla to reportedly visit Australia

26 minutes ago

Alaska Airlines, flight attendants reach 'record' tentative labor deal

32 minutes ago

‘Friday Work Done’: Maple Leafs' William Nylander Puts The Work In as Brother Alex Shares Instagram Story of Duo's Workout

32 minutes ago

Supreme Court Says U.S. Citizens Don’t Have Right to Bring Noncitizen Spouses to U.S.

32 minutes ago

‘What we’ve been chasing’ – George Russell hails Mercedes W15 breakthrough at Spanish GP

32 minutes ago

Tomato Sauce Recall Map Shows States Impacted

32 minutes ago

Trump Spreads Election Misinformation in Key States