The Lakers lameted Derek Fisher's inconsistent shooting. But they marveled at his clutch shots.
They fretted over his inability to stop young and quick point guards. But they admired his willingness to make key deflections and take key charges.
Fisher hardly matched Kobe Bryant's talent. But he nearly matched his work ethic and toughness.
And the list goes on and on.
That's why it shouldn't be surprising Laker fans remain in what appears to be a state of contradictions. They responded with glee when they acquired Cleveland guard Ramon Sessions because it stripped away Fisher's starting position. They responded with sadness moments later when the Lakers traded Fisher to the Houston Rockets for forward Jordan Hill because it stripped away Fisher's standing as a Laker.
And that's what makes this move so difficult. Laker fans view Fisher with varying degrees. Some looked at his Laker legacy: his five championship rings, his classiness, his locker room leadership. Some harped on his deficiencies: his age (37), his declining speed, his inconsistent scoring. But many appreciated all those aforementioned qualities and understood what that resembled. Fisher remained a role player who maximized his abilities and found ways to help talented and super-star laden Laker teams win.