The relationship shared between Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher is a special one. They both came into the league together in 1996 and ended up making seven NBA Finals appearances with five of those resulting in championships.
That’s why is it was hard for Fisher to see his good friend go down with a fractured knee just six games into his return from a torn Achilles’ tendon.
However, as Fish wrote on his website today, Kobe’s injury affected him more than usual as it made him realize how lucky he’s been to stay relatively healthy throughout his 18-year NBA career. Fish also is confident that Bryant will return to his old self once he gets back on the court, too:
[pullquote]But one thing that has happened this season made me think a little more about the end. My good friend and former teammate Kobe Bryant suffered a knee injury shortly after he returned from his absence with an Achilles tear. Seeing him go down — almost like a kindred spirit — reminded me that at some point, I’m not going to be able to play.
Still, Kobe’s injury really put me in a tough place emotionally — not only because he is a friend, but also because it was an example of just how fragile this business really is, and how quickly your career can change. Things like that can happen, and just like that, you might not be the same.
It was a tough couple of days to kind of process that. But I’m better with it now. I know he’ll be fine. He’ll be great when he comes back.[/pullquote]
This is Fisher’s last season in the NBA, so it’s bound to be an emotional one.
The Lakers and Thunder still have three matchups to go this season – at L.A. on February 13 and March 9, and in Oklahoma City on March 13 – so they’ll hopefully have a few more chances to play against each other before it’s all said and done.
It’d be nice to see the Lakers offer Fisher a role within the organziation once he retires. Derek still lives in L.A. and despite playing for three other teams during his career, he’ll always be a Laker at heart.