Derek Fisher determined to earn Mavs' respect

DALLAS – Much was made of the value of 38-year-old Derek Fisher as a mentor for the young players on the Mavericks’ roster, including Darren Collison.

That, however, isn’t the kind of thing that happens as soon as a guy shows up in the locker room.

“When the moment is right, I’ll offer some things,” Fisher said. “I still think it’s important to just develop a natural relationship with a person before you jump in and start telling them what they should and shouldn’t be doing. We’re all human beings, we’re all young men and there needs to be a relationship of respect first, and then guys will be more receptive to the things you’re trying to offer.

“Right now, I’m just trying to continue to get to know these guys and make sure they understand that we’re here for one common purpose at this point, and that’s to try to make the Mavericks’ team as good as we possibly can be.”

As savvy as he is, Fisher has his hands full for the time being just figuring out where he's supposed to be and how he can help his teammates on the floor.

Fortunately for Fisher and the Mavs, they had a couple of full practice days between games.

"That will have to happen day by day as I move through these first several days and weeks, really, just understanding where guys like to be on the floor, where guys like to have the ball, where they don’t like to have the ball, understanding where in particular your big guys in screen and rolls, which guys are rolling, which guys are popping, which guys can make shots form certain spots," Fisher said.

"At the same time, try to make sure I’m in the right place, and I’m calling the right plays and putting us in the right position. A lot of information to process. But like I said I think the team’s been great, my teammates, guys on the floor, coaches, everybody’s trying to really help me through that process."