Derek Fisher Stays with Lakers

Derek Fisher is not leaving Los Angeles to join LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade in Miami. Fisher said in a statement posted on his Web site that he has decided to stick with the Los Angeles Lakers, thanks largely to the persuading powers of Kobe Bryant.

“I listened to every coach, every general manager, even potential teammates in order to make the right decision and I thank every one of them. At the end of the day, there’s one person I could not turn away from,” Fisher said. “Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons…And has been loyal to me even when others had doubts.”

Fisher will reportedly get a three-year deal with an option for him on the final year. The 35-year-old point guard will earn at least $9 million, according to ESPN. However, the Lakers have yet to make an official announcement, with general manager Mitch Kupchak saying that “nothing is signed yet.”

There were speculations that Fisher would not return to help the Lakers make a run for a third-straight title when the 24th pick in the 1996 Draft met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley.

However, in the end, Fisher valued his friendship with Bryant over the bigger cash he could have earned with the Heat.