Derek Fisher was signed by the Dallas Mavericks this week, after beginning the season without a spot on an NBA roster. Fisher finished last year as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but found himself without a job to start the year while reportedly looking to catch on with a contender.
Since no offers from good teams were rolling in, Fisher chose to get in the game anywhere he could, rather than remaining unemployed.
Not only will he get a chance to impart some of his veteran leadership to the team’s younger players, but he’ll get to do so while holding down the starting point guard spot beginning with his first game with the team on Saturday.
From Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had a bit nicer welcoming gift for the five-time NBA champion: a starting job. Carlisle, who tends to treat his starting lineup as if it were a state secret, said Fisher “probably” would be the starting point guard in Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons and beyond.
The Mavs are counting on Fisher to fill some of the void — poise, leadership and strength at point guard — left by Kidd’s surprising departure this past summer.
“For a guy who’s been sitting out, he’s obviously been working hard and taking care of himself,” Carlisle said. ” . . . He did a good job today and he’s going to help us.”
Translated, the signing, along with Fisher being awarded the starting job from his first day in Dallas, means that the Darren Collison experiment is over — at least for the time being.
Collison’s numbers are right in line with his career averages, so his play hasn’t been necessarily a surprise. Where he’s disappointed Carlisle, however, is on the defensive end of the floor, and with his inability to comprehensively run the offense to his head coach’s satisfaction, he’s going to see a lesser role for a while while coming off the bench.
Fisher isn’t likely to help defensively of course, but he’s at least well-versed in how to play within the concept of his team’s defensive schemes. His ability to see the floor and initiate the offense should be an improvement for Dallas, and will give Collison the ability to play off the ball some when the two are used together at times in a portion of the team’s lineups.