"There will never be another one like him. Regardless of who the coach is going forward, things will be different," Derek Fisher said of Phil Jackson following Sunday's season ending loss to Dallas in Game 4. "We'll miss the big guy on the sideline, but we all just want him to be happy. He deserves to ride off into the sunset and do whatever it is he wants to do the rest of his life. We're happy for him."
Hearing Fish speak of Jackson in such high regard was no surprise. I was, however, not expecting Fisher's answer when asked if, just as the epic loss to Boston in the '08 Finals helped fuel the team going forward, the horrible failure of Game 4 could do the same next year.
"I don't know, ask Magic," Fisher replied. "Ask Magic what's going to happen."
This, of course, in reference to Magic Johnson's comments during the ABC hoops broadcast Saturday about the need for Dr. Buss to "blow up" the team following an inconsistent season then alive in name only. From there, Fisher declined to add much, likely understanding his first comment expressed everything he felt it necessary. "All I can say is it's an honor to be a part of the Los Angeles Lakers organization and I hope that my future is still with the Lakers."
Magic may be a Lakers and NBA legend, but whether you agree with him or not (I don't, at least not in such dramatic terms), I can tell you his comments were not well received inside the locker room.
Click below for more postgame video, including Lamar Odom speaking candidly about the loss of this team's "bond," Andrew Bynum, and more...
Odom, on the loss:
Bynum, on his frustration and hard foul (cheap shot, really) on J.J. Barea leading to his ejection in the fourth quarter. Odom, himself ejected for a pop to Dirk Nowitzki only seconds earlier, expressed more contrition than Bynum. It would have been nice for Drew to recognize he did wrong.
Bynum comments as well on fatigue, Jackson, the series, and more: