Derek Fisher’s Double-Duty

Fisher‘s dual roles as both the Lakers‘ point guard and president of the Players Union can at times come into conflict, making his life a bit trying, especially these days with the possibility of a lockout looming. From the NY Times: “His whole career, Fisher said, but especially the years when the Lakers had dueling superstars with different agendas, ‘have been very, very good training, on-the-job, hands-on, in-the-moment type training.’ The most frazzled he has felt juggling his game with his union responsibilities, he said, came one day last month in Minneapolis. He had a teleconference at noon with Commissioner David Stern; the union’s executive director, Billy Hunter; and five others. Basketball practice was scheduled to start an hour later. At first Fisher had the wrong pass code for the call; then he kept losing the connection. In the confusion, Fisher lost track of the time and did not phone Coach Phil Jackson or the team’s trainer, Gary Vitti, to say he would be late. ‘I remember thinking, even if I have to take a little bit of flak or get into a little bit of trouble short term with the team, this call is worth it because this is the whole game, this is everything,’ Fisher said. ‘I felt like even if Phil fined me, he would still understand the intention of my actions. It wasn’t just because I overslept or was off doing something personal.’ Fisher arrived for the tail end of practice and was not fined, he said. Afterward, he and Jackson talked. ‘Derek’s a very conscientious guy,’ Jackson said. ‘He puts a great effort into what he does.’ He added: ‘A lot of times on the plane I sit across the aisle from him, and he’s spending a lot of his time reading stuff and going through agreements and looking at proposals. I know it weighs heavily on him, the responsibility.'”