Act 1: Derek Fisher signs with the Dallas Mavericks after the 2012-2013 season begins, playing nine games before injuring his right knee. Act 2: The Dallas Mavericks grant Fisher his request to be released from the team so he can nurse his injury and spend time with his family. Act 3: The Oklahoma City Thunder sign Derek Fisher to be their backup point guard for the rest of the season. Mark Cuban is pissed.
This is the usual perception of the characters involved – The Dallas Mavericks are an ambitious franchise, but possibly one of the more player friendly in the NBA. Despite needing Fisher, who was averaging 8.6 points per game as their starting point guard earlier this season, they thought it would be the nice thing to do and grant him his request to be released, not thinking it will come back to bite them.
Derek Fisher is perceived as a class act. It’s hard to find people who say anything bad about him. The Oklahoma City Thunder? They enjoyed Fisher’s shooting last season, averaging 6.3 points for them during the postseason. They just want to win.
Suddenly, with a chance to play for a contender and feeling healthy again, Fisher doesn’t care anymore about being close to his family. The Mavericks were never going to be a title contending team, but the playoffs, once Dirk Nowitzki was back, were always the goal, although it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this season.
The Thunder don’t trust Reggie Jackson as their backup point guard after dealing Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers. And still, there’s something that reeks with classlessness from Fisher, usually regarded as a standup guy. The Mavs half did Fisher a favor by letting him be their point guard earlier in the season, but sometimes, in this kind of league culture, a player has to do what’s best for him.