Dunleavy Says Lakers ‘Need To Keep Fisher’

by June 21, 2010
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The L.A. Times has more from the former NBA GM and head coach: “The Lakers will have a lot of difficult decisions in the coming months, but this one is a no-brainer: They need to keep Derek Fisher…His leadership is essential, on the court and behind the scenes. His shooting is an obvious plus — he routinely makes shots in the fourth quarter that most guys not named Kobe Bryant might be hesitant to take — yet that’s just one facet of what makes him such a valuable player. Fisher has credibility in the locker room, and he’s not the kind of guy who would have a problem delivering the bad news to Kobe if, say, he’s trying to carry too much of the load himself. As a coach, you need someone who can deliver a message. Back when I was coaching the Lakers, I had that in Magic Johnson. We had a core group of guys on that team that were tremendous people and tireless workers. Magic was our best player and, like Kobe, led by example with his work ethic. Just as important was the way he helped me as a coach, just the way Fisher helps the Lakers now…The thing is, it’s pretty clear the Lakers aren’t overflowing with confidence in Farmar or Brown, or they already would have started the process of passing the torch at the position. The team needs to decide whether to go with one of those guys, or shop around and find somebody else.”