Fisher’s reported interest in an NBA comeback makes no sense

In August, anything is possible. NBA free agency is in the rear-view mirror, and the season is still two months away. Truly, hope springs eternal in the summer.

Or so Derek Fisher would have you believe, anyway. On Tuesday night, the five-time NBA champion posted a peculiar video on his Facebook page with the caption “#imnotdoneyet.”

A comeback for Fisher? That would be patently ridiculous. Yet according to ESPN.com, he might not be kidding:

Sources told ESPN Wednesday that Fisher has indeed been “exploring options and expressing interest in playing again.”

Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and predict that this one is never, ever going to happen — for three pretty basic reasons.

First, Fisher is six days away from his 42nd birthday, and it’s not like he called it quits early with a ton of miles still in the tank. He was 39 when he retired in 2014, finishing his career in the top 50 for minutes played in NBA history. And last year, the oldest player in the league, Vince Carter, was three years younger than Fisher would be next season. I’m sure Fish is feeling spry after three years away from the game. The rigors of an 82-game season would turn him into dust, though. That’s just science.

Second, Fisher has already transitioned into the next stage of his career. He coached the New York Knicks for the 2014-15 season and the first 54 games of last year, before the Knicks canned him following a 1-9 stretch in January and early February. For all intents and purposes, he’s a coach.  Even if Fisher kept himself in playing shape during his time away from the court, coaching takes every ounce of your attention and focus. Fisher still knows all of his veteran tricks of the trade, but without the constant practice that comes with actually being in the NBA, there’s no way he can apply them effectively.

Last but not least, there’s that whole Matt Barnes situation. All of the involved parties are consenting adults, and they can date whoever they want. That’s fine. Perception matters too, though. If Barnes were to come back to an NBA locker room, some of his new teammates would undoubtedly wonder if they could trust Fisher. Fair or unfair, what team is going to want to take on that kind of headache?

So yes, I believe that Derek Fisher is pursuing his options for a potential NBA comeback — just as I have explored my options to become President of the United States. 

Andrew Lynch

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