Derek Fisher is already a fan of OKC, via this 2009 USA Today interview (via Mike Sherman): “Being in the NBA, you are on the road and in a different city every few days. We have traveled to Oklahoma City, and I was very surprised to find such a sense of community, kind people and was extremely touched by the Oklahoma City National Memorial honoring those who were lost in the bombing of the Federal Building.”
Fisher is in Oklahoma City to finalize a deal according to NBA.com: “Former Lakers point guard Derek Fisher is in Oklahoma City to finalize talks on a contract. Fisher was spotted at OKC’s Will Rogers World Airport early this morning with Thunder GM Sam Presti and other members of the Thunder front office. Fisher has reportedly been in final negotiations with the Thunder on a contract that would bring him to the Western Conference leaders after he clears waivers.”
Tom Ziller of SB Nation on James Harden: “And then there is the presumptive Sixth Man of the Year for 2011-12: James Harden, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Manu clone. Harden probably should have been an All-Star this season. His efficiency numbers are absolutely absurd: No. 7 in total Win Shares and Win Shares per minute, No. 3 in offensive rating, No. 6 in effective field goal percentage, No. 2 in True Shooting percentage. Despite coming off of the bench in 42 of OKC’s 44 games this season, he is No. 6 in the league in total free throws made. Despite playing heavy minutes with Kevin Durant (the league’s No. 1 scoring small forward) and Russell Westbrook (the league’s No. 1 scorer point guard), Harden is averaging better than 17 points per game. His stunning improvement and ability to make such a grand impact off the bench is a huge reason Oklahoma City has the top ranked offense in the NBA.”
Kurt Rambis talking about the importance of Derek Fisher. One thing I noticed: Rambis says Fisher could go to Kobe and call him out. Which obviously means Fisher would have that same kind of clout with Russell Westbrook, you’d think. If he can get through to Kobe, surely he can get through to Russ.
Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN LA on fearing Fisher: “I’d be willing to take my chances, because in the cold calculations of sports, it’s always best to play against lesser opposition. Put bluntly, the reasons so many Lakers fans wanted him off the floor are exactly why they’d want him on the floor for an opponent. Moreover, I wonder as well how much impact he can have culturally on a team where he’s new in the locker room, his gravitas lacks the same context as in L.A., and isn’t seeing many minutes. When it’s all said and done, I suspect he won’t make a huge impact with either team. But I understand the fear. If presented the opportunity to put Fisher on the floor against the Lakers and have him do something big, the basketball gods (with whom Fisher has always seemed to have a direct line of communication) might find it too tough to pass up.”
KD on signing with Rob Pelinka: “Just his track record and the type of guy he is,” Durant said. “He’s somebody I can really relate to that played the game of basketball at a high level. He knows what it takes to be a player in this game and he works hard. That’s the type of people I like to be around.”
Darnell Mayberry on last night: “Westbrook deferred so much in the final three quarters that I think someone got in his ear. Or he was trying to prove a point. Or something. A few of his shots in the opening period weren’t the best, but he had his jumper working and had made five of six from the field. Then he takes five more shots the rest of the game? There’s something to that. I can guarantee you. Three of those final five shots were 3-pointers. And only three of those final five came in the final 24 minutes despite Westbrook playing 18 of those.”