Derek Fisher signing with the Thunder is leaving the Mavs sour

USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks gave Fisher a ticket back into the NBA earlier this season, only for him to ask for his release. Now he's latching onto the Thunder and the Mavs front office isn't happy.

This seems really silly to be upset at a 37-year-old point guard who isn't very good at basketball anymore, aside from his astronomical #LEADERSHIP attributes, but here we are.

Dallas signed Derek Fisher earlier in the season to give the team some of the aforementioned #LEADERSHIP talents. Hell, Fisher actually started as soon as he got here, banishing Darren Collison to the Carlisle Pit of Doom (where he camped out with Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones, Brandan Wright and the ghost of Jared Cunningham.)

Fisher then sustained a knee injury on Dec. 18 and by Dec. 22, he was gone. When Fisher realized he was going to be out of action for two weeks, he asked the Mavericks for his release so he could be closer to his family.

Apparently, he's seen enough of them, because now he joins the Thunder this week. That has left Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavs front office a little, well, upset. Here's what Jeff Caplan from NBA.com found out (via BDL):

Apparently with 26 games left before the start of the playoffs, family concerns are no longer an issue for Fisher, who wore No. 6 for the Mavs because, as he said, he joined them on a quest for a sixth title. "This is not a pit stop," Fisher told his new Dallas teammates.

Lo and behold, he will also wear No. 6 for the Thunder. He will make his second OKC debut in as many seasons at home Wednesday against the New Orleans Hornets.
So how do the jilted Mavs feel about this turn of events?

Owner Mark Cuban did not reply to multiple emails on Monday, but one league source said the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is "agitated." The source said that Fisher and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him.

The source said that Fisher's departure before Christmas seemed to come out of the blue.

It's easy to see why Cuban would get mad about this. While many love to scoff and hate on Cuban's game-time persona of trashing refs and jawing with players, he's always maintained a sense of class and professionalism away from the court and on the business side of things. It's also easy to see why he'd get upset at this incident when he was fuming at Jason Kidd for spurning the Mavs at the last minute for the Knicks over the summer.

But in reality, this is about as meaningless as it gets. Fisher posted sub-10 PER in his nine-game stint with the Mavs. The team went 5-4 and Fisher's best game in one of those wins was an 11-point, 6-assist effort in a 119-96 win against Sacramento. He shot 35.4 percent from the field, his assist to turnover numbers weren't great and he took away minutes from Collison, Beaubois and the like on a team that wasn't going to do anything more than get stomped by the West's 8-seed.

Fisher's departure actually helped more than it hurt. Collison posted a brilliant January freed from Carlisle's clutches and Fisher's minute-blocking presence.

The Mavericks aren't likely mad that Fisher signed with another team -- I doubt Dallas seriously misses him (but who knows, everyone values #LEADERSHIP in different ways). They're mad that Fisher gave them a family excuse to release him from the contract he signed and then joined another team without even dropping the Mavs a phone call or email. I'm sure if Fisher contacted the Mavs before he signed with the Thunder, there'd be nothing here.

Alas, he didn't. And now we have to look back at Fisher's craptacular time in Dallas and go over this silly dispute. Thanks a lot buddy.

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