Fisher’s Stressful Season Nears an End
His (Derek Fisher) relationship with National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter had deteriorated into little more than feeble attempts at public unity. Their efforts to hide the deep personal distrust that had dug a chasm between them was successful in front of the cameras and digital recorders — from the sidewalk on E. 63rd Street to the Waldorf-Astoria and finally, to a law office on Fifth Ave., where the labor settlement finally was reached. Behind closed doors, according to an ownership source involved in the labor talks, it was painfully obvious that Hunter and Fisher were deeply at odds.
“I’m sitting there and wondering, ‘What am I missing here?’” the ownership source said. “We didn’t know who was speaking for the players.”
Now, all these months later, after a 66-game season and a compelling postseason that has yielded a marquee Finals matchup between the Heat and Thunder, Fisher has closed that chapter — but only for now. What a turn of events, what an appropriate stroke of circumstance, that Fisher stands here at the end of this journey with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals.
“With everything that has happened and all the changes and the craziness, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for just what it means to wake up every day and face the new challenges that present themselves head on and just keep fighting through it,” Fisher said. “As long as you know you’re doing the right thing and you’re being authentic in who you are and what you’re trying to do, everything will take care of itself.”