I often talk about “serial killers” in regard to basketball. A lot of people assume that the definition only applies to “star players.”
That simply isn’t the case; often the deadliest killers are the ones who hide in the shadows.
Every great team normally has one “star” killer (Jack the Ripper) and one “secret” killer (Dexter).
The ultimate “secret” killer was Robert Horry, who would literally sit on his couch for most of the year (the regular season) and then at the strangest times, pop up, slash someone viciously (sorry Kings fan), and then go right back to the couch like nothing happened.
Serial Killers aren’t made — they are born. When Jordan was dropping 18-footers as a freshman at UNC to win National Championships, it was his first kill. When Kobe was throwing up air balls against Utah, he was a killer who just botched his first kill, but then went back and honed his murdering skill set.
Last night we witnessed how valuable the “secret” killer can be, when Derek Fisher — in hostile territory –took a knife to every single Celtics fan in the Garden.
Fisher, who most people, including me, thought was done after struggling through the regular season and routinely getting torched by other point guards.
I was banging the drum that the Lakers should go out and trade for a point guard, or let Jordan Farmer or Shannon Brown take over the reins.
Once again proves why Phil Jackson is smarter than all of us by sticking with the veteran.
After the game, Derek Fisher got emotional and I understand why; when you are zoning in any profession, including murderers, they often black out, and after it is over and they realize what they have done, they break down.
I wrote before the series that it would be Kobe Bryant’s teammates that would determine his legacy and decide this if he gets a 5th ring, and if the Lakers do win the series, the first person Bryant should thank is Derek Fisher.
I also talked about how we would find out how mentally tough the Lakers are after they lost Game 2, and I think we have our answer. That was a grind-it-out game where the Lakers just would not allow the Celtics to get over the hump, and they controlled the game from the middle of the 1st quarter on. This was not a fluke win.
If the Lakers do lose the series, it won’t be because they aren’t “tough” enough; it will be because they were outplayed.
We have two evenly matched teams, where home court means little. It is going to be about who wants it more and how many more “serial killers” emerge.