Laker point guard and great man, Derek Fisher, is doing the rounds to promote his new book: “Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball.” Fish has been through a lot on the court, but it’s his story off it which led to him getting this book published. His daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2007, and both he and his family struggled to get her the care she needed. Tatum is doing well now and in this text Fisher describes that traumatic experience along with the Lakers’ three-peat. This past spring during the NBA playoffs, I along with many others were calling for him to take a seat on the bench, but Phil Jackson stuck with him, and he provided some huge moments in that championship run. Fish is that classic veteran every fan wants on his or her team; it’s really impossible to root against a guy of his character. Fisher joined Boomer and Carton on WFAN to discuss if the Kobe-Shaq situation was overblown, why his book was written, and whether Kobe is the type of guy he’d hang out with.
On what sparked the book:
“I think going through what we went through as a family with our baby girl and the cancer really, it really just shifted my perspective a little bit more. And, I think gave my family a greater appreciation for each day, and it’s important to stop and reflect on things at times – the good things and the bad things – to stop and put your thoughts down, and express yourself a little bit. And, I think that event was really the catalyst to getting this book started about a year and a half ago.”
On whether or not Kobe is the kind of person the regular guy would want to hang out with:
“He’s definitely that kinda guy but he’s grown in to even more of that kinda guy as he’s gotten older and he’s matured, and just getting a better understanding, like all of us as we age a little bit, and our experiences broaden, and we learn a lot more about how life works and the things that are really important. And, having a wife and two girls and growing with them and learning what really sacrifice means – I mean, basketball sacrifice is one thing but family sacrifice is something else.”
On the storied feud between Kobe and Shaq:
“I think some of it was definitely over exaggerated and kinda added on top of the difference in personalities or difference in beliefs, how our team should be playing and run. They didn’t always see eye-to-eye but there was never any feeling on our teams these two guys can’t function together. They weren’t walking in to the locker room, punching each other out, so, it wasn’t as big as it was made out to be, but at the same time, I don’t wanna say that it was nothing either and it was totally made up.”