SAN ANTONIO -– Although Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle only had Derek Fisher for 24 days, those were some very valuable 24 days.
Not only did Fisher start in all nine games that he played in for the Mavs, but he also was part-coach and part-teacher for young point guards Darren Collison, Dominique Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois. And Carlisle will forever be indebted to Fisher for that.
“The only thing I would want to say is how appreciative we are of what he brought to us for three weeks,’’ Carlisle said. “Really, he’s a model of how to approach things professionally.
“He played extremely well and was a plus for the time that he was here, and he set a great example for our young point guards.’’
The Mavs signed Fisher to a one-year, $1.11 million contract on Nov. 29 to help facilitate their point guard spot. But they released him on Saturday -- at Fisher's request -- because he wanted to be back home with his family.
This past Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers, Fisher strained his right patellar tendon and was likely going to be sidelined for over two weeks. The extra time away from the court had Fisher wavering about his future with the Mavs.
However, Fisher had already been secretly contemplating a move back to Los Angeles before then.
“I think the injury kind of sealed things,’’ Carlisle said after Sunday’s shoot around at the AT&T
Center. “It’s tough, he’s away from his family and he’s got some kids that are both older and younger.
“It’s a very tough situation for him.’’
-- Dwain Price
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