Derek Fisher back from hospital for the game winner2021|03:46
Derek Fisher has a lot of memorable moments in his career. Of course The .4 shot against the Spurs immediately comes to mind. The clutch performance in game 4 of the 2009 finals against the Magic is right up there as well, or the coast to coast bucket over 3 Celtics defenders to seal game 3 of the 2010 finals. However I bet that if you ask him, Derek will mention a heroic moment in his career that’s often forgotten. A playoff game that he played just hours after his daughter’s surgery in her battle against cancer. And in this new series I’ll make sure those forgotten moments get the shine that they deserve. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it. After the three peat and the subsequent fallout of the Lakers, Fisher left LA and signed with the Warriors in 2004. He spent 2 seasons there but wanted a bigger role and asked to be traded. Golden State obliged and sent him to the Utah Jazz. That 06/07 season the Jazz made the playoffs and had a hard fought series in which they barely were able to advance against the Rockets winning a decisive game 7. That set up the second round matchup against the famous 8 seed We Believe Golden State team, that had just knocked out the 1 seeded Mavs and the MVP of the season Dirk Nowitzki. But as the conference semifinals started, Fisher didn’t appear in the opening game. He wouldn’t say much, just that his daughter was ill, and that he needed to be with his family. As it would later be revealed, it turns out that his daughter had a rare form of eye cancer, and required an immediate surgery. With a long battle and therapy waiting down the line, the silver lining for the family was that at least this first step of the process- the surgery was successful. So the family was scheduled to leave the hospital on the day of game 2. Even though Derek Fisher couldn’t make it in time for the start of the game, Jerry Sloan, the legendary Jazz coach, still kept him in the roster and listed him as active for this game just in case. The Jazz sent a private jet for the family to get them from the hospital in Los Angeles, straight to Salt Lake City. At the 5:30 mark of the third quarter, the broadcast showed Derek as he was just arriving in the arena, moments after a dramatic, and traumatic experience in his life, going straight to the locker room to put on his uniform and help his teammates in a completely different type of battle. Shortly after, there was this sequence that just gives you goosebumps. Take a look. It’s still crazy to me that he checked into the game straight away as he came in the arena. What followed was a gruelling back and forth fight between the 2 teams. Neither of them backing down. And with 35 seconds to go, the Jazz were down by 3 and needed a stop to save this game. Fisher delivered. With his tough defense against Baron Davis, he forced an out of bounds call, and a few possessions later, Deron Williams sent the game into overtime with a clutch shot. In OT the stage was finally set for Derek Fisher’s triumphant ending of this game. Up by 3 with 70 seconds to go, as destiny would have it, the ball found its way to the hero, and he sealed it with this dagger. Utah went on to win this game and the series in 5 games. Although the San Antonio Spurs were too much for them to handle in the conference finals, this playoff run for the team will be remembered and marked by the heroics of Derek Fisher.