Thursday, June 9, 2011
Derek Fisher dines with Mike Brown
By Ramona Shelburne
Derek Fisher may not have made much headway in resolving the NBA's impending labor crisis as head of the NBA Players Association during several days of intense collective bargaining talks in Dallas, but his week is ending on a high note.
The Lakers co-captain returned to Los Angeles late Wednesday night, and the first item on his agenda Thursday was to confirm dinner plans with new coach Mike Brown, according to a Lakers source.
Both Fisher and Brown felt it was important to meet in-person to discuss the issues that thwarted the team's quest for a third straight championship last month and to confer on the best way for Brown to roll out his new offensive and defensive schemes.
Fisher was one of only a few players to publicly express support for Brown after he was hired on May 25.
"A lot of really great coaches were being considered for the job. B Shaw [Brian Shaw] was at the top of the list!" Fisher said via his Twitter account. "He'll be amazing and wherever he goes is lucky to have him. Will miss Phil but excited to start a new chapter under Mike Brown. Looking forward to a different style and energy!!"
Since then, Fisher has spoken to Brown several times on the phone, but has been spending most of his time in talks and meetings for the Players Association as it attempts to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the owners by July 1.
Fisher's fellow co-captain Kobe Bryant has yet to publicly comment on Brown's hiring, saying on Tuesday that "now is not the time" as he unveiled a new initiative to help combat childhood homelessness at an event in Hollywood.
Fisher, 36, averaged 6.8 points and 2.7 assists but shot just 38.9 percent in the first year of a three-year contract he signed last July.
Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.