Derek Fisher (born August 9, 1974 in Little Rock, Arkansas) was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks on November 29, 2012.
Fisher played his college ball at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock where he was a four-year starter. His senior year, the 1995-1996 season, he was Player-of-the-Year in the Sun Belt Conference. When he left the school he ranked first all-time in free throws, second all-time in points, assists and steals and third all-time in three point field goals made.
Selected in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Fisher made an immediate impact seeing action in 80 games while averaging 3.9 ppg. He was selected to appear in the Schick Rookie Game as part of NBA All-Star weekend.
Improvement was steady as his scoring average rose in each of his first five years in the league. In his second season, Fisher appeared in all 82 of the Lakers' regular season games, the first of nine times in his career he would see action in every one of his team's contests.
The 1999-2000 season began a string of three straight NBA Championships for the Lakers with Fisher running the show. Los Angeles won the second of those three titles (2000-2001) without Fisher who was limited to only 20 games that season due to a stress fracture in his right foot.
The '03-'04 season provided Fisher with one of his career highlights. In game five of the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio, Fisher hit a buzzer-beater with 0.4 seconds to play to give the Lakers the win. The shot went down as the NBA's 18th greatest playoff moment of all-time.
His contract expired at the end of the 2003-2004 campaign and Fisher signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors on July 16, 2004. The Warriors were a very young team and, despite Fisher posting career-best numbers in 2005-2006, didn't enjoy much success during his tenure there.
On June 12, 2006, the Warriors traded Fisher to the Utah Jazz for a package of players including Keith McLeod, Andre Owens and Devin Brown. His tenure in Salt Lake City lasted only one brief, but very successful, season.
Appearing in all 82 regular season games for the Jazz, the 6'1 guard averaged 10.1 ppg and led Utah to the Western Conference Finals. Just prior to the 2007 playoffs, Fisher left the team due to an illness to one of his children. He returned for the playoffs but after the season asked the Jazz to grant his release so that he could take his family (and sick child) to an area where there were more doctors. They did so on July 2, 2007.
Just seventeen days later Fisher re-signed with the Lakers in a move that some, including Jazz owner Larry Miller, saw as "interesting". Fisher was taunted by the Utah fans during resulting visits to Salt Lake but in signing with Los Angeles, he took approximately eight million dollars less than he would have earned had he stayed in Utah and played through his existing contract.
Fisher's second stint in Tinsel Town brought two more NBA Championship's in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. He again played in every regular season game in each of those seasons, as well as the next year (2010-2011), but saw his scoring average begin to slip.
Beginning the 2011-2012 campaign in Los Angeles, Fisher was traded, along with a first round draft pick, on March 15, 2012 to the Houston Rockets. Despite the trade, Fisher never suited up for the Rockets as the team bought out his contract and waived him four days later.
Oklahoma City signed the veteran guard and Fisher saw action in 20 games and led them on a playoff run that took the young team all the way to the NBA Finals before falling to Miami.
Fisher had no team when the 2012-2013 season began but signed a free agent contract with Dallas on November 29, 2012. In nine games, he averaged 8.6 points in 25.4 minutes. After suffering a minor injury, Fisher asked the Mavericks to release him so he could return home to be with his family. The Mavs released Fisher on December 22, 2012.
Fisher shocked the Mavs when, only a few weeks later, he signed a free agent deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder to finish the '12-'13 season.