CHICAGO -- Derek Fisher is a player who has been there, done that. He has five NBA championship rings, with the last of his five coming with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.
For that sole purpose, the Dallas Mavericks had little choice but to go out and seek Fisher's services. Particularly since the Mavs point guard situation has been so unstable this season.
Fisher can possibly provide some stability at point guard. He is a savvy veteran who knows how to win and knows how to breed championships.
But the fact that the Mavs had to reach out to a 38-year old who isn't even in the league at this time is very telling. Plus, it should send a strong message to Darren Collison, Dominique Jones, Rodrigue Beaubois and Jared Cunningham.
And that message is that the heirarchy in the Mavs' organizatioh are not pleased with the way this team''s offense has been quarterbacked.
Thus, Fisher will eventually move into the starting point guard slot, while Collison will be his backup and learn from one of the game's most fierce competitors. Even Collison saw that handwriting on the wall when he found out the Mavs were about to acquire Fisher.
“I think his leadership will help,'' Collison said of Fisher. "He's a veteran guy that's been around the NBA for a very, very long time.
“I think he's going to help me grow into the player I want to be, and he's going to help this team grow.''
"We need help at point guard,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "We feel (Fisher) can help us.
“I don’t see him as a cure-all to all the challenges that we have as a team. But a guy with that kind of experience can help.’’
The addition of Fisher will signal the end of one the Mavs players' stay in Dallas, because that will give them 16 players, which is one over the NBA maximum. It's anybody's guess as to who will be shown the door, considering everyone on this team from guards, forwards and centers have been inconsistent this season.
Meanwhile, Fishe'rs acqusition can't come soon enough for the Mavs, who looked totally out of sorts on offense.
"We need help at the point guard position and, to that end, I might as well announce we're going to sign Derek Fisher tomorrow, pending a physical,'' Carlisle said after the team's 101-78 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. "I think he can really help our situation with experience, defensively and really all areas of the game.''
Fisher, too, can help in that area, while helping Collison in improving some aspects of his game.
“We’ve got to stick together, we’ve got to show a collective caring for one another and a collective toughness,'' Carlisle said. "We’re entering a really difficult stretch in terms of the schedule.
"Nothing is going to be easy, and we’ve got to embrace that challenge. I believe in this group of guys, I like them, they’re all good guys, they all bring some good things to the table for our team.''
One of those players, however, will be gone Thursday when Fisher signs his contract with the Mavs.
-- Dwain Price
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