Number 15 – Derek Fisher
For Fisher’s recap we settled on the turn around jumper he made with 0.4 seconds left in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the San Antonio Spurs in 2004. Although that season didn’t end in a championship for the Purple and Gold, his shot helped the Lakers get another treasured series win over the Spurs and create yet another legendary NBA buzzer-beater.
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Derek Fisher‘:
Manu Ginobili will inbound from the right side of the floor. He gives it to Duncan who catches it at the right elbow. Guarded by O’Neal, he dribbles towards the top of the key but can’t get around Shaq. Forced to throw up a fade-away prayer, Duncan hits a miracle shot. Spurs lead, 0.4 seconds left. Lakers timeout.
The Lakers came out of their timeout and stacked all their guys around the free-throw line, seeing this the Spurs immediately use their final timeout. The Lakers then come out and run a completely different play. Bryant sets a pin-down screen for O’Neal and then curls to the left corner, but the Spurs defence is too good and the Lakers can’t get the ball in. Phil Jackson is forced to call his final timeout.
Several real minutes have gone by since Duncan’s shot and yet the clock still sits at 0.4 seconds. The Lakers come out stacked on the free throw line again. Gary Payton is in-bounding, this is it, no more timeouts, he needs to inbound this ball. O’Neal rolls round to the back of the crowd towards the rim, a potential lob threat. Bryant scrambles out towards Payton to receive the short pass. O’Neal is tied up at the rim, and Bryant is doubled.
To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.
After playing four years at his hometown college, the University of Arkansas, in Little Rock, Fisher was drafted by the Lakers as the 24th pick in the 1996 NBA draft.
What came of Derek Fisher’s career was not expected, a 5-time champion and a true Laker great!