Not many people would risk leaving almost $21 million on the table in order to get their child a few hundred miles closer to medical care that she might not even need.
But that’s exactly what NBA star Derek Fisher did for his infant daughter, Tatum, who is battling a rare form of cancer in her left eye.
In an exclusive interview, Fisher told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer why he feels he made the only decision he could when he asked the Utah Jazz and the league to release him from his lucrative contract after his daughter was diagnosed with retinoblastoma this spring.
Fisher’s decision to walk away from his contract might be a major one for many people, but he felt it was his duty as Tatum's dad to do whatever he had to do to make sure she got the best possible medical care. He did not consider it a gamble.
”I don’t feel that basketball is the only way to make a living,” he went on. “I feel like I’m capable of doing so many things to help people around the country and around the world. I felt confident I could make the decision not knowing what was to come.”
Everything is working out, so far. Tatum’s surgery was successful and she’s completed three rounds of chemotherapy. Now, the 1-year old will be monitored by doctors in case the cancer returns.
As for Fisher, who left the Jazz on July 2, he is now the newest member of the L.A. Lakers, who will pay him $14 million for the next three years of his services.
Thank you, Derek Fisher! If only every man were this kind of a Dad, we would have fewer children growing up to be Lindsay Lohan.