Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Salute to a Dad Who Knows What's Important

Derek Fisher of the Utah Jazz got a lot of attention during the NBA playoffs, when he remained at a New York hospital during his 10-month old daughter's surgery for eye cancer, only to fly to Utah for a playoff game the same night against the Golden State Warriors.

Now Fisher has asked for -- and received -- a release from his contract commitment to the Jazz, so that he can relocate full time to a city where his daughter can get the care she needs:

The Utah Jazz agreed to release guard Derek Fisher from his contract Monday so he can concentrate on finding the best care for his 11-month-old daughter, who has cancer in her left eye.

Fisher said he wants to live in one of the six or seven cities being considered for Tatum's care.

He didn't rule out playing for another NBA team but emphasized that his daughter's health is his No. 1 priority.

"Life for me outweighs the game of basketball," Fisher told reporters after flying from New York to meet with Jazz owner Larry H. Miller and other team executives.

"When it comes to decisions related to them," he said of his family, "I do what's best."

This had to be as difficult a decision for the Jazz as it was for Fisher. They've lost a significant basketball asset for nothing -- not a move that typically helps teams and coaches. Fisher on the other hand, will be free to sign with another NBA team; he will undoubtedly be compensated just fine for his work -- if that's what he chooses.

Still, it couldn't be easy to give up a sure thing in favor of more time with a family that needs him. It's heartening to see him make the right choice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And the Jazz to do "the right thing."