Kobe: Fisher ‘Is A Friend Who’s More Like A Brother’

by May 30, 2010

Harvey Araton caught up with Kobe and Fisher to discuss their special relationship: “In a league currently obsessed with mega free agents contemplating coexistence with another outsize ego, seldom has there been a pro basketball partnership like Bryant and Fisher’s — the highly credentialed and often contentious superstar and his special vocational friend, the man Bryant affectionately calls Fish. In their 11th season together, a run that was interrupted for three years when Fisher left Los Angeles, Fisher has become a Lakers authority in his own right, the one teammate of Bryant’s who has his ear along with the uncontested right to raise a voice. ‘We’ve gone through different facets of life together,’ Bryant said. ‘He’s always been a standup guy, a friend who is more like a brother.’ …And then, last spring, along came championship redemption, the title Bryant wanted most, his first without O’Neal. Making it sweeter were Fisher’s Paxson/Kerr moments, a pair of 3-pointers that tied game four of the finals in Orlando with 4.6 seconds left in regulation and won it in overtime to give the Lakers a commanding 3-1 lead. Finding him open for both shots was Bryant, a dramatic flourish but no Hollywood finish. After playing in his seventh N.B.A. finals, Fisher will be a free agent, but Bryant expects him to stay and envisions them together far into the future. ‘We’ve got the stories, man,’ he said. ‘The stuff you want to share in the rocking chair, the ones that bind you forever.’