Jeff Caplan of NBA.com writes the Mavs aren’t pumped about Derek Fisher’s return: “Owner Mark Cuban did not reply to multiple emails on Monday, but one league source said the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is “agitated.” The source said that Fisher and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him. The source said that Fisher’s departure before Christmas seemed to come out of the blue. Of course, in 2007 when Fisher played for the Utah Jazz, he did have a family emergency in the playoffs. His 11-month-old daughter suffered from cancer in her left eye and required surgery in New York. After the playoffs — where Fisher had an iconic moment in the West semifinals — Fisher asked the Jazz to release him from his contract so he could concentrate on finding the best care for his daughter. After saying, “life for me outweighs the game of basketball,” Fisher would soon sign a three-year deal to return to the Lakers.”
Darnell Mayberry on why OKC brought back Fisher: “Insurance: The No. 1 reason this deal went down. OKC shipped reserve point guard Eric Maynor to Portland at the trade deadline last Thursday and was left with only Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson at the point guard spot. Teams generally like to have three point guards for emergency purposes. For a team that expects to make another deep playoff run, entering the postseason with only two lead guards would have been risky. Fisher also brings stability to the position in the event that Jackson, still in just his second season, struggles under the playoff spotlight.”
Spurs winger Gareth Bale hit a wonder strike yesterday as he becomes one of the world’s top footballers. But it was also pointed out to me that his favorite player is Russell Westbrook, which is cool.
Read this story about nine-year-old rapper Lil Poopy (yep) and then listen to his song which mentions Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook.
Dan Cutter of Sports Wunkerkind on Ronnie Brewer: “If the Thunder win the NBA Championship this year, I’m willing to bet everything in my bank account (not very much to begin with) on that it won’t be because Ronnie Brewer shut LeBron James down. But he offers a much more suitable option than anyone else on the Thunder previously had when it came to guarding the King. There are still questions involved- Can OKC return to the Finals? Will Scott Brooks keep banging his head against the brick wall that is Kendrick Perkins? Will the Brewer trade prove to be beneficial, and can it help the Thunder conquer the Heat? While all we can do is speculate now, in just a short time we’ll know these answers. And maybe after we know these answers, we can look back on what appeared to be an uneventful trade deadline and see just how much it actually mattered.”
Jenni Carlson on Fisher: “Would Thabo or Collison or even Ronnie Brewer, the defensive whiz who was acquired last week from the Knicks, have made a difference in the outcome of the series? It’s hard to say. But I sure like the Thunder’s chances more with them on the floor instead of on the bench. Listen, I’m not here to hate on Fisher. He can hit big shots. He can make great passes. He can bring veteran leadership into the locker room and onto the court. But at 38 years old, he could take playing time away from guys who need to be on the court during the playoffs. Giving him his old locker is one thing. Giving him those minutes is quite another.”