Mavericks’ Collison Doesn’t Think He Got Fair Shake As Starting PG

DALLAS — Darren Collison resumed the season as Derek Fisher‘s backup, a coaching decision he doesn’t like, but will have to live with.

Collison, benched Tuesday night after 14 games, said he didn’t receive a fair shot as the Dallas Mavericks’ starting point guard.

“I don’t think so, and we all know that; my teammates, they feel the same way, everybody feels the same way,” Collison said prior to Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons. He made his first appearance midway through the first quarter and finished with five points and eight assists in 27 minutes.

“But, at the end of the day, coach, he makes the decision,” Collison said. “There’s nothing you can do about it but go out there and do your job.”

The Mavs went 7-7 with Collison running the point. He started the season on fire, leading an up-tempo attack and Dallas to a 4-1 record. He’s struggled since with a flat jumper and too many turnovers, as well as with individual defensive matchups.

Coach Rick Carlisle, apparently had seen enough and benched Collison Tuesday at Philadelphia, and then Collison missed Wednesday’s game at Chicago with a sprained right middle finger. It was Dallas’ third consecutive loss and its eighth in the last 11 games.

On Friday, Dallas signed Fisher to take over as the team’s starting point guard. Carlisle called the acquisition “a great situation” for Collison because the fourth-year point guard out of UCLA will be able to learn under the 38-year-old veteran, owner of five championship rings with the Lakers.

Collison said he’d prefer to learn through playing.

“I feel like at this point in my career, if there’s anything I need to learn it’s just go out there on the court and just learn from my mistakes,” Collison said. “That’s what a lot of young guards do, you go out there, you learn from your mistakes. As far as Derek Fisher, I think I can learn from him. He’s a great leader on and off the court. I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

Fisher hasn’t played since Game 5 of the last June’s NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He remained unsigned until Friday and went through one practice with his new Dallas teammates. Depending on Fisher’s conditioning, Collison could still be called on to play starter-type minutes.

Still, Collison didn’t hide the frustration of losing his job before December. It’s the second time in eight months that he’s dealt with moving to the bench. He lost his starting job at Indiana to George Hill after a late-season injury, a scenario Collison said was easier to swallow than this performance-based demotion.

“This is a little bit unique because I’ve never had a situation like this before,” Collison said. “I got hurt before, but not this type of situation. I know how to deal with it. I’ll be all right.”

When Dallas made the July trade with Indiana to get Collison, 25, they quickly tabbed him as Jason Kidd‘s replacement in the starting lineup. Carlisle said he has told Collison that he remains a major part of the team’s plans.

“Darren’s still one of our best players and I’ve made that clear to him,” Carlisle said. “One of the reasons we’ve had success here in recent years is we’ve had starting-caliber players playing off the bench. There are areas where Darren’s going to get better. I see him as a guy who is still developing and I can’t imagine a better situation for a point guard than being at practice every day with Derek Fisher.”

Collison is averaging 12.9 points on 43.8 percent shooting (31.6 percent on 3s), 6.3 assists and 2.5 turnovers. All 14 of his starts came without the benefit of Dirk Nowitzki, who remains out after knee surgery on Oct. 19.

“I’m mentally tough,” Collison said. “I think I’ve been through everything throughout my whole career. I pretty much know how to deal with adversity pretty well. As long as I don’t let it affect me than I should be all right.”


  1. HMH says:

    Note to Collison: stop being such a cry baby. You have to earn your roster spot, playing time, and starting position in the NBA. You’re not entitled to any of those things. Just because you think you’re all that doesn’t mean you are and other people do….

  2. Nomad says:

    It’s a pity that Dallas opted for DFish over Earl Boykins. I was really hoping to see Boykins return to the league. I think Boykins is much fitter, faster, more consistent and with his recent contributions in Milwaukee (2010-2011) when Brandon Jennings was out, he impressed many.

    • psrawlins says:

      Collison watch the tapes, you turned the ball over all the time!!! If you weren’t turning it over you were getting it stolen! Be real dude! Maybe you will get better but you need work!! Get your head right with ball and just play and quit worring about whether you start or not! I’m not a big D Fisher fan but, something had to change and Beaubois needs to go not sure why Mavs continue to keep hoping he’s going to turn the corner! He’s always hurt! Suks you go from Champs to …..this??
      Can you say Shark Tank?? thxs mark

  3. Anonymous says:

    D. Collison is a decent player as his numbers show. However, he tends to make bad decisions on the floor sometimes that you do not expect from a starting point guard. Mostly bad shot selection and turnovers. If he can improve his efficiency and his ability to run the offense he can be a decent starter in the N.B.A. Collison is more of a combo guard like OKC’s Westbrook that must learn how to run the point.

  4. kiko says:

    As long as I don’t let it affect me than I should be all right.” Collison said, This is BS if it’s really doesn’t affect him there is no whining you can hear from him. He also said, I feel like at this point in my career, if there’s anything I need to learn it’s just go out there on the court and just learn from my mistakes,” “That’s what a lot of young guards do, you go out there, you learn from your mistakes. As far as Derek Fisher, I think I can learn from him. Darren Collison are you serious? I think is not the right word it should be I know can learn from DF. With this statement it only shows how incompetent, immature, brat, ungrateful are. With proper attitude you will reach your goal without a doubt. You want an example look at Manu Ginobili with all the championship and MVP’s here and abroad he doesn’t mind whether he’s coming on the bench or not as long his team are going to win that’s what matters most. My advice to you be humble or else, sooner you will find out you are unemployed because of your bickering. Be a winner not a whiner.

  5. rich says:

    DIDN’T GET A FAIR SHOT ?! Started 14 games, some brilliant games especially beginning of the season but after that all mediocre to poor play especially costly tunovers at the the end of the games, ‘hero’ balls shots… The truth is he’s been very inconsistent that is very disappointing to Mavs fans who’s been spoiled by previous great point guards play from Kidd, Harris, Kidd. I’m definitely not saying that DFish is better than him, because DFish is done and he’s super overrated, what I’m saying is Collison is definitely not good enough to be the leading point guard for the team.

  6. j says:

    Darren is a bench warmer at best. I have watched every game he is beyond indecisive and plays horrible to defense. Not to mention he cant shoot and turns the ball over way to much.

  7. Hunter says:

    Darren will be fine. Fisher is a GREAT pickup for the MAVS. Now trade for Roddy, Dojo, and Wright and get a def. big man!

  8. Dirty D says:

    Sometimes people need a wake up call. The Mav’s need a consistent and steady hand at point to advance. And as good as Collison can be at times he’s not getting the job done now. And he can learn from Fisher. No one stays in the League as long as he has ( especially without any great physical advantages ) without knowing a thing or two. This is a blessing for Collison. As for now he doesn’t seem to be headed for a very long career. If I were Fisher, I wouldn’t teach him anything till he came and asked himself after those comments.

    • rich says:

      Agree ! As much as I hate DFish, Collison is not yet in a level where he can say what he just said. He may be the best point guard the Mavs have now but he had already cost Mavs a few games because of his inconsistent end game plays.

  9. Craig Berlin says:

    Collison runs hot and cold. He will learn over time. Whether he starts or not is immaterial. What I don’t understand is why Jae Crowder continues to play when he can’t hit the broadside of a barn lately while Brandan Wright is a serial DNP when he has the highest FG% and PER on the team. His rebounding isn’t great and his rotations need work but he brings a lot to the table and shouldn’t be riding the pine all game every game. When he was playing, the Mavs were 4-1.

  10. Dwade-3- says:

    Fisher is an old man …he will never give something to the mavs …collison as starting point guard before its to late

  11. Jujo says:

    Dallas didn’t make a splash the off season … There main players are old , Marion , Vince , dirk now fish …. They def not a championship team any more and when dirk come back it will b late in the season before he gets to regular form … Fish won’t play many minutes and can’t follow behind the other pgs like cp3, Westbrook , Jennings , etc they should b happy to have record they have …. Collision should start r put together a package and trade for a good pg

  12. Jon says:

    I think this is a move to push Collison to improve. Doubt Fisher will be starting for very long. I mean this is the same Fisher that the Mavs torched en route to a 2nd round sweep of the Lakers a couple seasons ago.

  13. jw says:

    The Mavs need help with leadership and Fisher is one of the best floor and locker room leaders.

  14. Kamote says:

    I do feel for Collison not having the same treatment as Wall or Lin had that they can play through their mistakes. But its also a good thing that he’s acknowledging Carlisle’s decision. Right now, Dallas needs that steady hand to dictate the pace of the game. To those who thought Fisher only piggy-backed his way to having his rings, they should know better. He was the calming voice throughout the Kobe-Shaq feud. He spreads the floor so Shaq, Kobe and then Gasol can do what they can do. And he is the most clutch player in LA next to Kobe (and Horry) during their championship days that sometimes its wiser to let Kobe shoot the three than have him open.

    Collison has the speed and scoring ability, but his ceiling isn’t as high as Wall, Irving or Rose’s. He has to recognize this so that he could use his strengths to make their team win. Fisher was a less skilled player than him, but he did his part on to winning five rings.

  15. KB24 says:

    Wow Im a big DFish fan but Collison is one of the better pg’s in the league… bad move from a really good coach…

  16. bu says:

    We’ll not know what goes on behind the scenes. Collison may hv disputes with Carlisle but be like a spoiled brat but nobody would know. The thing to watch is how he proves himself after benching. If he can show everyone that he’s worth the money & is a mature & reliable guy, even making some youngsters mistakes, he’ll hv his place.

    Also, why do ppl care so much about starting? It’s who finishes in close & important games that matters. Look at Jason Terry. Look at +/-. Look at those critical screens to free up your shooters.

  17. John Doe says:

    The Lakers should have signed Fisher as a coach together with Brian Shaw instead of Mike Brown.

  18. kevin says:

    if every1 in mavs is healthy my starting 5 would be :kaman,dirk,marion,carter,and mayo
    i think carter should be given a chance to start in sg,then mayo could start in point

  19. danito says:

    we need a back up piont guard in la, trade pau and nash, for collison and dirk. nash is aging too and i dont think he can stay healthy for a whole season. collison, kobe, metta, dirk, and howard. specially dirk is a good 3 piont shoooter so he will fit well with the coach

    • JK says:

      Trade a franchise player Dirk and a young Collison for two older player, and if Nash is going to keep getting injured why would the mavs want him, and two old pg,s

  20. Akoiah says:

    Not sure what Carlisle has been thinking lately. For some reason he loves Crowder and hates Brand, even though Brand is obviously the far better player. Now he starts Fisher instead of Collison? I’m confused.

  21. Josh says:

    So Carlisle’s logic is to move the good but struggling guard to the bench to hire an overplayed, overrated guard who is about as big a defensive liability you can get that also has no speed or scoring ability.

    I nominate the mavericks staff to appear on the next shaqtin a fool

  22. Adam says:

    Darren is tight I love his play. I’d like to see him shoot the 3 a little better, or turn it over less, or play better defense. If he could do any of those things better he’d be one of the best pg’s in the league. He’s a guy that’s right there. Fish, at this point, makes better decisions. Darren is going to get most of the pg mins, he is the best overall pg on the mavs, but in spots you need a guy like fish to keep the waters calm until Darren learns how to do that. He will, but you may still see Fisher Start much like Kidd used to. Kidd is better than Fisher, and Darren is better than Barea. Darren will grow. Dirk will be back. I’d like to see some late game O.J Mayo-Dirk 2 man at the end of games. The mavs will be ok. I predict a 2nd round playoff exit.

  23. spajo says:

    darren will be a starter in one month again, as soon the coach realize that derek is too slow for the gameplay.
    the good thing is, darren will learn from derek a lot! greetings from austria (europe) GO MAVS !!!

  24. willie says:

    haha… fisher brings nothing… waive him, cubes… all darren needs is the return of dirk, and he’ll be an ok point. mavs will be the west champions as long as OJ mayo, kaman and company maintain their kind of play… go mavs!

    • Dirty D says:

      Of course, Dirk means he won’t make turnovers. Smart guy…. He’s inconsistent and needs to improve. Why should the Dallas Mavericks A professional basketball team trying to compete on the highest level lose games while he learns to do his job! Grow! Earn that spot. Because as for now, Fisher may or may not work out. But he certainly is not getting the job done. (Crying about the spot instead of being happy he’s not being traded.)

  25. Cpt Sherbet says:

    Collison should obviously be starting over Fisher. The coach said he should learn off Fisher but has he also forgotten that he spent a year under Chris Paul?

  26. Tom says:

    Collison is a better scorer than fish and has been doing well considering the team is missing a superstar to feed the ball to. Carlisle talks like fisher is the second coming when really he’s a 33% shooter who’s going to be a liability in everything except ‘leadership’, whatever that means

  27. Tom says:

    all this talk about fisher when he piggy-backed better players to his rings, basically any starting pg would’ve got the rings fisher did if they’d been with the lakers. As the other guy said, hire fisher as a coach and let collison develop on the court. You’re never going to be a contender with an aging scrub like fisher at the helm

    • Banks says:

      Honestly, Fisher hit some shots that literally won series for the Lakers. Remember 0.4 versus the Spurs?

    • Dirty D says:

      SMUSH DIDN’T!!!!! And don’t forget…. (.04, and all of the playoff buzzer beaters he hit! And the two in a row in Jameer Nelsons Face In Orlando!) Most of those five wouldn’t have happened if not for him. I’m not trying to say he’s Magic Johnson but he’s done some real good work over the years.

  28. KING_LBJ06 says:

    Darren Collison should be the mavs starting point guard, and not Derek Fisher. Darren Collison brings a lot of speed, and qickness which is what point guards need to bring to the table these days. Derek Fisher has had a great career and I respect him for that, but the Dallas Mavericks would be best suited to have Collison start at pg.

  29. Alex says:

    I was highly impressed with the way Collison played in NO, and was looking forward to his development. I haven’t been watching him lately, but I can confidently say, that Derek Fisher, shouldn’t have been the starting PG for the Lakers, the last few years he was there. He was just too slow, and was starting to get abused by much younger quicker guys, such as Collison. Derek may still be able to shoot the 3-ball, but I don’t think he what it takes to be a PG, in today’s league. No disrespect to Derek whatsover, he has done great things for the Lakers organization, and accomplished many feats. He just doesn’t have much to contribute as a Starter.

  30. WHAT says:

    I have honeslty had enough of hearing that fisher brings leadership, THATS IT. he can barely distribute the ball anymore if ever. just sign him as a coach or something

  31. Markus3 says:

    Hard done by at Indiana too, was a better point guard than George Hill imo. Should have resumed his place in the starting line up after coming back from injury.

  32. clinton says:

    i think derek will do well in Dallas. he’s a proven winner and can certainly help the mavericks.

  33. Sam Sam *; says:

    You should have given Gilbert Arenas a try to play for the Mavs or if you want to go old school get AI he will give you good work.