Although being courted by the Miami Heat, which included an airport greeting by LeBron James prior to his meeting with Heat president Pat Riley and team owner Mickey Arison, Los Angeles Lakers free agent point guard Derek Fisher has decided to re-sign with the two-time defending NBA Champions.

In a statement released on his website, Fisher summarized the reasons why Los Angeles will remain his home for the immediate future.

“My free agency was a time for me to reevaluate my position in the league, reflect on my accomplishments individually and as a teammate, and determine what new goals I want to achieve in the future.  Many reports were completely false. Numbers reported were guesses and true "sources" were few and far between.

I took time to consider all my options, many not reported in the media.  I listened to every coach, every general manager, even potential teammates in order to make the right decision and I thank every one of them. At the end of the day, there's one person I could not turn away from. Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons, came into the league together as kids, and has been loyal to me even when others had doubts. We have won five championships together.

I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles. While this may not be the most lucrative contract I've been offered this off season, it is the most valuable.

I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin...”

Score one for Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Derek Fisher for electing to continue being a leader in Los Angeles rather than a follower in Miami.

However, the Heat quickly rebounded from Fisher’s rejection with two crucial signings to provide support for the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

According to ESPN.com, free agent power forward Udonis Haslem signed a five-year deal with Miami Monday worth around $20 million; more than $10 million less than he could have gotten had he accepted offers from the Dallas Mavericks or the Denver Nuggets.

"I would be changing my DNA if I left just for money," Haslem said.

Haslem averaged 9.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Heat last season and in his seven-year career, all spent in South Beach, the 6’8” Florida product has posted 10.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest.

In addition, the Heat also signed Washington Wizards free agent swingman Mike Miller, who averaged 10.9 points per game in 54 games last season while shooting 50.1% from the field and a blistering 48.0% from three-point range.

Now that Miami is set at the wing positions, Pat Riley will now focus on signing players that will help beef up the Heat’s front court, anchored by Haslem and Chris Bosh, as well as bringing in a veteran point guard as he attempted to do with Derek Fisher.

In any case, it can never be understated how important it was to re-sign a banger like Haslem and a shooter like Miller, which should only further confirm that Riley is the early favorite, by far, for next season’s NBA Executive of the Year Award because like it or not, thus far, he’s done a masterful job assembling the new look Miami Heat.

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