Ex-Laker Derek Fisher preaches passion as key factor for success in basketball

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Ex-Laker Derek Fisher preaches passion as key factor for success in basketball
Former NBA point guard Derek Fisher
Philstar.com / Ralph Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines -- Five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher stressed that “genuine” passion and love for the game is needed by young players to excel in basketball, as he visited the basketball-crazy country Philippines.

Fisher attended a meet-and-greet session at SM Megamall on Wednesday evening, hosted by technology company vivo.

The legendary point guard, who won all five of his titles with the late great Kobe Bryant, has coached the New York Knicks in the NBA, the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA, and the Crespi Carmelite High School in California.

Asked about his message to young ballers in the Philippines, the heady floor general dropped nuggets of wisdom.

“If the only reason you’re doing something is for the result, or if the only reason you’re doing something is what you get out of it immediately, it won’t be as fulfilling. You won’t be as happy as long,” he told reporters.

Fisher said that athletes should take sufficient time to work on their game to excel in the sport.

“And many players, whether men or women, that have been able to sustain, play at the highest levels, there’s just a genuine love and passion for the game. It’s the practice, the workouts, the hours at the gym that nobody sees, the offseason conditioning, the weight training, out on the track, nutrition, sleep, it’s all the things, to love the process of trying to become the best,” he said.

“It’s not so much as ‘Okay, I’m only gonna work hard if I get this.’ It’s really learning to embrace just working hard, having faith that you will get there at some point, if you keep working, but many, many adults as young people, it’s hard to always work hard on something if you don’t feel like you’re gonna get the results you want,” he added.

Despite being just 6-foot-1, with no explosive athleticism and not shooting more than 43.7% from the field, Fisher had a lengthy NBA career, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks.

He finished his career averaging 8.3 points, 3.0 assists. 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals while starting 731 of his 1,287 games.

Fisher also emphasized that the young ballers should not give up on their dreams and embrace the journey.

“It’s so important especially when you first start to play, early in your career to learn to just have fun doing what you’re doing, embrace the journey, don’t give up on your dream and understand that everybody’s timing is different,” he said.

“When I was in the ninth grade, there were guys that were better than me, more talented than me, they got recognized more than I did. In the 11th grade, same thing. When I was in college, same thing. When I was in the NBA, the same thing,” he added.

“Like, so you can’t base what you feel about yourself according to how other people are talking about other people. You have to be okay with where you are in your journey, just keep working hard all the time.”

During Wednesday's event, Fisher took photos and signed autographs for the myriad of fans who queued up.

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