Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw Warn of Major Changes in L.A.
OK, so not everyone on the Lakers was exuding ultimate confidence with the series shifting to Dallas, as point guard Derek Fisher and assistant coach Brian Shaw each warned the team of potential (and very severe) changes to the roster should they flame out. The LA Times reports: “About two weeks ago, Derek Fisher gathered together his teammates and told them to look around the room. He warned all the Lakers that if they don’t reach their goal of winning a third consecutive NBA championship, next season the faces on the team could look quite different. Fisher pointed out that the possibility of the Lakers’ management making changes was realistic because it happened to him during his first tour with the Lakers. ‘We discussed that buttons will be pushed,’ Fisher said after practice Thursday. ‘That’s the reality, and it’s business with this team. You have to understand it and appreciate it for what it is. I think guys understand it.’ … The Lakers had nine new players on the 2003-04 team. ‘When it doesn’t work out and you have the talent that this team has, you think going forward, it’s not going to be the same afterwards if you don’t get through it,’ said Shaw on Thursday. Shaw, now an assistant coach with the Lakers, will be one of the candidates to replace Jackson. If the Lakers fail to win a title this season, ‘it’s not going to be all the same guys and the same faces around anymore,’ Shaw said. In 2004 the Lakers lost in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons and the team made more changes, bringing in 10 new players and another coach. Jackson left (but was rehired a year later), Shaquille O’Neal and Rick Fox were traded and Fisher was allowed to leave. ‘If you want to stay on this bus and take this ride and play for the Lakers and everything that this brings to you, then do everything humanly possible to push through,’ Fisher said. ‘Management is still going to make decisions that they feel like are best. But the best way to impact that decision is to win.’ … ‘If [players] like the palm trees, the sunny weather and the pretty women in L.A. and the other stuff that comes along with it, if you want to keep it, then you better come with it,’ Shaw said. ‘If you don’t, there are a whole bunch of other guys that would love to be in this position. And this organization is not going to sit around and wait.’”