Interesting phrasing by Derek Fisher, since there's always the temptation when contending teams meet to define "bigger picture" as "what does it all mean?" What "significance" to we lend it? What "have we learned?" Maybe it's because his resume features an impressive amount of "been there, done that," but when asked after Tuesday's win about the Christmas Day extravaganza, Fish kept insisting that it's primarily about "the showcase for the fans and the matchup" (big names on a big stage), as opposed to "this big preview of what's to come." When BK about how the team's "soft" tag was shed upon beating the physical Clevelands and Bostons of the world, Fisher said that might be true in terms of how other people saw them. But when it comes to their own self worth, it's pointless to dwell on one regular season matchup in particular. "For us, the season's too long to put your hopes into a particular matchup to put your hopes into a matchup during the regular season," explained Fisher. "We lost both our regular season matchup against Orlando and won in the Finals. I'm sure Orlando would want that reversed the other way."
Not that Fish is blind to the game's other purpose. "It gives you guys a lot of stuff to do and talk about," nodded Fisher. "You guys" being the media, often accused of trying milk blood from a stone when it comes to finding every shred of relevance to a high profile game. Personally, I've noticed nothing of the sort in this era of 24-hour news coverage where the Internet and zillions of stations compete against each other for eyeballs, ear drums and attention spans, but maybe that's just me. Either way, Fish didn't offer the observation grudgingly. Like he said, reporters, like everyone else, "gotta eat." But he still remained insistent, no matter how many different ways the question was phrased or switched with context, that it's really about giving fans the holiday gift of a showdown between two very good teams. Rather generous of all parties involved, if you ask me.