Dallas Mavericks

Did Derek Fisher Ruffle Mark Cuban's Feathers by Signing with OKC Thunder?

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 18:  Derek Fisher #6 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on December 18, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2013

The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up Derek Fisher yet again as they signed him to help out with their playoff run in late March last season after he was waived by the Houston Rockets. It seems Mark Cuban's a bit upset with Oklahoma City's recent acquisition.

If you recall, Fisher played in nine games for the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season before requesting that the Dallas Mavericks release him after he strained his right patellar tendon.

Update: Wednesday, February 27 at 1:50 PM ET: By Ethan Norof

Mark Cuban's sarcasm was on full display when he was asked how he felt regarding Fisher's return to Oklahoma City. Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News has the details.

“Look, I understand completely,” Cuban said. “From the time Derek was here to his signing with OKC, his kids are older, they can deal with things better. So I understand him having more comfort in being away from them.”

Clearly, Cuban did not appreciate Fisher's choice to sign with the Thunder.

It was upsetting to the Mavericks, as Fisher had started all nine games with the team, and because of the way he talked early on about his commitment to the team.

I told the guys today, "This is not a pit stop. This is not kind of the final whatever before I decide to retire soon. I’m here to give everything I have to help this team right now and continue to build as we go through this season."

Fisher was concerned about the injury that would have kept him out for a few weeks and claimed that he was having difficulty being away from his family.

According to NBA.com's Jeff Caplan, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was particularly upset about Fisher joining Oklahoma City after spurning the Mavs back in December:

Owner Mark Cuban did not reply to multiple emails on Monday, but one league source said the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is “agitated.” The source said that Fisher and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him.

Caplan then went on to make a few pointed, yet delicate comparisons to 2007 when Fisher requested that the Utah Jazz release him in order to find the best care for his daughter, who was diagnosed with cancer in her left eye.

A few weeks down the road, Fisher settled back in Los Angeles and ended up re-signing with the Lakers, sacrificing $8 million in the process but drawing ire from Jazz fans every time he ended up back in Utah.

In reality, these are two very unique situations.

2007 Fisher was legitimately looking for better health care for his daughter, while it seems like 2013 Fisher realized the sinking ship that was the Mavericks organization, saw an out and decided to try his luck down the road.

A few months later he had dealt with the players union's firing of Billy Hunter, re-upped as the union's president and decided he wanted to play basketball again.

It's hard to blame the guy, now 38 years old, for wanting to play again, and it's hard to blame Cuban for being upset.

Fisher did jilt the Mavericks, and it seems now as if he did it with the intention of playing somewhere else, but there aren't comparisons to be made between this situation and his situation from 2007.

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