With this story coming out about Derek Fisher and his return to the ESA, I imagine this is worth revisiting. I've written about it already and so I'll point you there for how I feel. I would like to add and maybe modify a couple things about it. You can also read an opposing view from CB Jack over at My (Our) Utah Jazz.
First, everyone can boo all they want. That's a fan's right. But I think fans were booing for the wrong reason. Part of it was because he's a Laker. I don't blame them a bit for that. But I think that the majority of booing fans thought that Fisher had an elaborate plot to use his daughter's disease for his ticket out of Utah and back to LA. That is completely ridiculous.
How could he have counted on the Jazz brass giving him his unconditional release? No buyout, no trade, nothing. The Jazz were just going to let him walk away? It had never been done before in the history of the league, ever. And that was the crucial part of his plan? Everyone was shocked that they were just going to let him walk and that he would give up that guaranteed money. There is no way that was his intent.
So now he has the freedom to sign wherever he wants. He had spoken about being closer to NY so that he would be closer to the doctors. Where exactly would he have gone though? The Knicks? There's so much wrong with that I won't comment. New Jersey had a PG. So did Philly. Nothing made sense.
So now, take off your cowboy boots, Gators, sneakers, or other footwear of choice and put on his family's shoes for just a minute. Forget about basketball, jobs, and everything. When you have crisis in the family, or any crisis, what does everyone seek out? Everyone seeks comfort. Experts will say that for emergency food kits that you should pack comfort foods that you like. The reason is that it gives you a sense of normalcy when things are in a whirlwind. That's what happened with the Fishers. The biggest clue to this is in the LA Times article ,
This, even though he wanted to bring his family back to within driving distances of trusted doctors and his wife's family.
They simply wanted to be closer to family. And I don't think anyone else in the same situation wouldn't want to be closer to those that could help things be a bit more normal. And that's not even talking about how much additional work would be required of Fisher's wife. With Derek on the road for long periods of time, she would have an almost unbearable task of taking care of the rest of her kids, let alone the additional care that Tatum would require.
Tell me what other situation would have worked out better for them? When you factor in family, medical care, and a team for Fisher to play on, where else would have been a better choice?
And really, if you want to boo someone, it should be Larry H Miller. He could have easily got something in return. It might not have been much, but it would have been something.
But what's done is done. And from a basketball standpoint, both teams are better off. Before all this, everyone complained about Fisher's contract, the fact that he was constantly being played at the two guard, and that he would give up 50 points a night. Now his salary is off the books and that allows the Jazz to have more flexibility in signing Williams and others. Ronnie Brewer has finally got the chance to develop. Fisher's departure indirectly landed us Korver. How is there any downside to any of this for the Jazz?
Except that he's now killing us in the playoffs. Just like he did last year to his former team the Warriors. He said he was shaken in his first game back to the ESA when he was booed. LA lost by their largest margin of the year. But they came back next time with a vengeance and snapped our home winning streak. It also gave Kobe some extra venom.
So what will throw him off this time? How about loud applause at his intro? Wouldn't that take a lot out of Kobe's revenge factor? It would also show that when he was booed in December, we weren't booing Derek the person, we were booing Derek the Laker. It would let him know we appreciated him as a Jazz man, but that now he's the enemy.
And then after the ovation, boo as much as you want.