CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Derek Fisher is no stranger to Hawaii, coming to the islands for training camps in 1996, 2001, '03 and '05.
Fisher feels at home in L.A.
After spending the last three seasons in other uniforms, Derek Fisher feels back at home in purple and gold.
Fisher -- who won three championships in Los Angeles -- rejoined the Lakers for training camp this week, bringing along his soft shooting touch, veteran presence and a more defined perspective on the game.
"I still take it very seriously -- I love it, I'm going to continue to play with a passion," Fisher said, "but I think it has its proper place."
Fisher's return to the Lakers only became possible when he requested his release from the Utah Jazz to move to a city where his infant daughter, Tatum, could more readily receive the attention needed to deal with a rare form of eye cancer.
That turned out to be Los Angeles, where he played his first eight NBA seasons.
"Even though I've always given my best with every team I've been on, there's a certain level of comfort with this team, with these players, with the city of Los Angeles," Fisher said after the Lakers' morning practice at Iolani School yesterday. "So it really does feel like coming home.
"(Requesting his release) wasn't with the intention of coming back to Los Angeles, but with the intention of finding the best city where my daughter could get the best care medically and I could still have an opportunity to play basketball. Los Angeles was one of the cities on that list."
His return to the Lakers also came with a fifth trip to Hawaii for training camp.
Although he's bounced around the Western Conference lately, Fisher hasn't missed an opportunity to train here. His rookie season in 1996 began in Honolulu and he returned with the Lakers in 2001 and 2003. Two years ago, he spent a week on the North Shore as a member of the Golden State Warriors, and after a season in Utah he found his way back to the Lakers this summer.
Fisher's return reunites him with coach Phil Jackson and backcourt partner Kobe Bryant as he brings with him 11 years of NBA experience, three championship rings and familiarity with the Lakers' system.
"He's a knock-down shooter, but more so than that he understands the nuances of the offense," Bryant said. "He understands spacing, he knows what I like to do and it simplifies things a great deal."
Having another veteran in the backcourt could also aid in the development of the Lakers' young guards, including the team's first-round draft picks of the past two years.
"Jordan Farmar and Javaris Crittenton are extremely talented players and I hope I can play a role for them in terms of just leading by example," Fisher said.
Fisher provided one of last season's most stirring images, walking onto the court during the third quarter of Utah's playoff game against the Warriors after flying in from New York, where Tatum had undergone surgery hours earlier.
As the story spread, Fisher said his family received well wishes from around the country and the experience reinforced his outlook on basketball.
"(Tatum's) doing really well," he said. "She's just continuing to improve and get better, so we're thankful for everything, even the thoughts and prayers of the people here on the island and all the fans and people that have supported us. ... The response was absolutely amazing. It really humbled us as a family.
"As much success as I've had on the court, its really been about ... building relationships with other guys and people in the community and leaving a personal legacy. It's not all about stats and scores, but just trying to be a complete person. I feel like that even more now, coming back under these circumstances."
Brown faces disorderly conduct charge
Lakers center Kwame Brown, charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer after his cousin was charged with drunken driving last weekend, claimed yesterday it was simply a misunderstanding.
"The truth will come out like it always does," Brown said.
Brown faces misdemeanor charges after police in Valdosta, Ga., pulled over Charles Warren Jr. early Saturday for driving the wrong way down a one-way street, Lt. Bobbi McGraw said earlier yesterday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.