5/8/09 UPDATE: Fisher remains a class act regardless of the league’s penalty handed down. He warns young players, “Seeing that play, when you watch the NBA, when you go and play out on the court, that’s not the part of the game that you want to emulate or take after as far as NBA guys.” Listen to a very poignant interview with Derek Fisher as he explains the incident with Luis Scola that led to his one game suspension: http://www.derekfisher2.com/
News from the league office arrived at the Los Angeles Lakers front door this afternoon as many had feared. “Fisher has been suspended for striking Houston’s Luis Scola with his shoulder and head.” The incident occurred in last night’s Game 2 semifinal match-up with the Rockets, now tied at 1-1. Replays of the incident show Fisher winding up to deliver the hard foul as Scola came to set a high screen. Scola collapsed from the violent collision and crumpled to the floor. Fisher’s statements earlier today defended his actions.“I’ve played this game for a long time, and I’ve made it a point not to involve myself in anything that’s personal or based solely in retaliation. I just go out and try to play hard.” Unfortunately, the league office saw differently.
In yesterday’s post game media session, Fisher said, “I knew that they were going to run a high screen roll, I knew the high screen roll was coming and we had a foul to give,” Fisher said. “So I was going to run hard through the screen and for some reason I thought he had taken off earlier. By the time I turned around, my elbow was higher than it should have been.” “I understood Joey’s (referee Joey Crawford) position,” Fisher said. “He wanted to get the game under control because of the way things were going.”
Fisher’s replacement for Game 3 with most likely be either Jordan Farmar or Shannon Brown. Farmar, with his familiarity with the offense seems the logical choice. It will be a good opportunity for Farmar to get untracked since his demotion in the rotation to Brown. Fisher went on to say, “I’m personally extremely confident in Jordan (Farmar)’s and Shannon (Brown)’s ability to hold down our lead-guard position and make the plays necessary to win the game. I don’t think our guys are extremely concerned about it outside of just hoping that I’m still going to be able to play.”
In other related news, upon the league’s review of his confrontation with Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant was assessed a flagrant 1 foul for his thrown elbow. Neither Artest or Bryant received any additional penalty or suspension.