In 2008, the Lakers went into the NBA Finals with hopes of brining the city of Los Angeles its first NBA championship in six years, and against the team’s most bitter rival, the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers gave their fans a glimmer of hope after winning Game 5 at Staples Center, but with the series already at 3-2 in the Celtics’ favor, all Boston needed was a win at the Garden in Game 6, and they did that in comfortable fashion, beating Los Angeles 131-92. To this day, it’s arguably the worst loss the Lakers have ever suffered in a Finals game.
In an interview with Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Derek Fisher talked about how losing that series affected the team:
“For two years we hadn’t been able to sleep basically,” Derek Fisher said.
Luckily for the Lakers, their story has a happy ending, as they beat the Celtics in seven games in the 2010 NBA Finals. Fisher scored 10 points on a perfect 2-2 shooting from behind the arc in Game 7 despite the fact that he exited the fourth quarter with an injury and was questionable to return.
Fisher talked about why it was especially gratifying for them to win that series:
“Certain things in life that when you earn it and you know literally like nothing was handed to you, nothing was given to you, very little things happen on accident or by luck, like you literally have to drain yourself to do it,” Fisher said. “That’s what made that series so special.”
That was especially true for the Lakers in that Game 7.
Kobe Bryant was forcing shots that weren’t falling throughout the game, so it took everyone, including Fisher, to beat the star-studded Celtics and bring No. 16 to Los Angeles. While it may have been mentally, emotionally and physically taxing at the time, Fisher can at least rest easy now.
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