The NBA season is in full swing and while some teams have started to witness their hard work in training camp bear fruition, others are bogged down by issues such as chemistry, adapting to a new coach and a new system and the most dreaded one, injuries. Come April, as the NBA season winds down, it will be time for many veterans to sound the final buzzer on their career, bringing to an end their stint in the NBA.
For some though, this might not mean an end to their association with the league for they may don their thinking caps and hats and become assistant coaches and may try their hand at sports broadcasting as game-time analysts.
There are two categories of NBA veterans – ones that have had illustrious careers and are retiring on a high and others who used to embrace greatness but have overstayed past their prime and have dragged their feet for too long. This article takes a look at the latter.
It was 13 May 2004, the venue being the AT&T Center (erstwhile SBC Center). Tim Duncan had drained an 18-foot fadeaway to put the Spurs ahead 73-72 with 0.4 seconds left on the clock, in a fiercely contested Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals. But the Lakers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, courtesy of Derek Fisher, who found time to catch the ball and hit an improbable shot, all within a span of 0.4 seconds. The Lakers would go on to win the series 4-2.
Fast-forward to 2013 and you’ll find Fisher having five championships under his belt, all with the Lakers, last of which came in 2010. Currently a reserve for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Fisher averages a meagre 2.6 points per game compared to his career average of 8.4. He barely makes a field goal per game and his minutes have also dwindled to 13.2 per game, while he averages 25.7 for his career.
Reports emerged in July this year that Fisher had officially decided to call it quits at the conclusion of the current season.