The Thunder will take on the mavericks in Dallas on Sunday, and it marks the first time that Derek Fisher will return to face his former team.
Fisher signed to play with the Mavericks at the beginning of December, as the team was struggling with its point guard rotation. Fisher appeared in nine games and averaged 25.4 minutes per contest, before requesting he be released from the team to attend to some family matters.
After Fisher resurfaced by signing with the Thunder at the end of February, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was less than pleased to see a player that quit on him pop up elsewhere, and had some harsh words for Fisher, essentially calling BS on Fisher’s given reasons for wanting out of Dallas.
Fisher is over it (obviously), and has no ill will toward the Mavericks. He does understand, however, that he may not get the warmest reception when he returns.
“Anytime you join a group or a team, even if it’s for a short while, there is some connection that takes place as far as teammates, coaches, people in the organization,” Fisher said. “I don’t know how happy they’ll be to see me, but I don’t have any problems with anyone here. I’m just looking forward to what should be a fun-packed game tonight.”
“I don’t know if weird is the right word,” Fisher said of his return. “But for sure as I’ve said before, personally there were some struggles in terms of really feeling like I could come to work and be fully committed to the team and to the organization. That was basically what I shared. Instead of continuing to try to fight through that it would probably be best for me to return back home and spend some time with the family. And after a couple of months of being away from the game, reflecting on some things, thinking about how I wanted to finish my career, this opportunity presented itself and I took it.”
Fisher can only say what he believes to be the truth regarding his reasons for asking out of his situation with the Mavericks, as well as his reasons for wanting to come back and play for Oklahoma City two months later.
And in turn, Mavericks fans and Mark Cuban are well within their rights to be skeptical.