The Cavaliers aren’t supposed to be able to take down a team like the Thunder. But when you have Kyrie Irving making shots like these down the stretch, anything is possible.
Irving scored 35 points on the night, but 13 of those came in the final 2:52, with the game on the line and the defense focused solely on stopping him.
It was an extremely impressive performance by Irving, and you could tell he earned the respect of Russell Westbrook, as the two shared an embrace that lasted a few seconds after the final buzzer had sounded.
Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.
All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.
Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.
Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:
To create the cap space to sign Alex Abrines, Thunder renounced its Early Bird rights to former player and head coach Derek Fisher.
These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.
There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)
Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.
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