by Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated
LOS ANGELES — Amid the sea changes that have taken place on the Lakers over the last decade — Shaq is here, Shaq is gone; Phil is here, Phil is gone, Phil is back; Kobe is happy, Kobe is mad, Kobe is happy again — here is a scene of comforting familiarity after a recent practice session at the team’s facility in El Segundo:
Derek Fisher is moving around the perimeter firing up his distinctive left-handed jump shot. About seven of 10 are going in.
Fisher’s shooting partner on this day is forward Vladimir Radmanovic. Go back 10 years and it could’ve been Eddie Jones, or go back five years and it could’ve been Rick Fox.
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Jim Alexander, The Press Enterprise
LOS ANGELES – It’s not hard to overlook Derek Fisher, or to take him for granted.
The Lakers veteran guard is steady. He has seen it all, been through it all in his 12 seasons in the NBA. Heck, during the turbulent but successful Shaq/Kobe era, Fisher seamlessly navigated the tension to the point that he often seemed like the sanest guy in the Lakers’ organization.
At 33, back with the team he broke in with in 1996, he’s still a productive, solid guard.
But production is only part of his role. He also has a lot of wisdom to offer.
Jordan Farmar is listening.
Where Fisher is the savvy veteran, Farmar is the 21-year-old prodigy from LA Fairfax High and UCLA with the high basketball IQ.
By Elliott Teaford, LA Daily News
SEATTLE – Derek Fisher played only 20 minutes in Saturday’s rout of the Clippers, and he was just fine with that limited workload.
Jordan Farmar played 28 minutes and Sasha Vujacic went 24, and that was OK as far as Fisher was concerned.
Less is more for the 33-year-old Fisher at this point in the season. If his younger teammates play efficiently in relief roles, he’s pleased to sit and rest for the heavy lifting that’s sure to come as the Lakers head into the stretch run in March and April.
“I look at that as a blessing,” said Fisher, who was averaging 12.4 points in 27 minutes going into Sunday’s game against the Seattle SuperSonics.
“There’s no reason to shoulder that kind of load if you don’t have to.
“I know I can do that, but that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to win. As many guys as we have pitching in, it makes every guy’s job easier.
“I think that’s why we’ve been good in back-to-back situations.”
Farmar and Vujacic have handled the backup guard roles with remarkable effectiveness in recent weeks.
They exude confidence each time they step onto the floor to replace Fisher or Kobe Bryant.
Farmar, a second-year pro from UCLA, was averaging 9.2 points in 21 minutes going into Sunday’s game.
Vujacic, a native of Slovenia who is in his fourth season, was averaging eight points in 16 minutes.