OKLAHOMA CITY -- With 1:47 left in the first quarter against the Clippers Wednesday, Derek Fisher checked into the game. He got a standing ovation that lasted for 45 seconds.

But the weird part about it? He was in Oklahoma City. Playing for the Thunder.

Think about that. Derek Fisher, playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He's not quite the same Laker institution that Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson were, but having spent 13 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Lakers and being part of five championship teams makes him pretty much a lifetime Laker.

But he was cast off by the Lakers at the trade deadline, sent to Houston for scraps. The Lakers wanted to bring in a new, younger point guard and Fisher, at age 37, was seen as too old and too slow to take them to where they needed to be.

Which is one reason Fisher decided to choose the odd number of 37 for his time spent in OKC.

“There are a number of reasons why this opportunity presented itself, being able to join the Thunder, [my age] seemed to be a negative thing for so long, especially this season," he said after his debut with the Thunder. "It was a negative thing I was 37. So I just wanted to send the message that the Thunder organization and I see it as a positive. That I’m still a guy that can help a team be successful and compete for a championship even at the age of 37.

"I figured since everybody likes to throw my age around in negative conversations, I’d just going ahead put it out there and let everybody know from the beginning, I am 37, but I think I can do some great things to help this team.”

What that was, was a not-so-veiled jab at the Lakers. It's not hard to read between the lines. The Lakers thought he was old, so they let him go. And Fisher knows it, so he decided to proudly slap his age on his back for the world to see. It's his scarlet letter. It's not a chip on his shoulder; it's a chip on his back.

The Thunder though saw the total Fisher package -- age included -- as an asset. General manager Sam Presti named Fisher's experience and leadership as a reason to have him, but didn't sell him short with what he adds on the floor.

"He'll have an impact on the floor, but also overall with the collective development of the roster," Presti said. "We're looking for certain things and not everybody fits that criteria and we don't fit that criteria for everybody else either. So any time you find someone you think is a good fit for your organization and they feel the same way it's certainly a positive."

The thing is though, he hasn't been brought in to Oklahoma City to play the role he had in Los Angeles. He's not the starting point guard playing 30 minutes a game. That's being handled by 23-year-old All-Star Russell Westbrook. Fisher's there to simply back him up, provide some veteran leadership in the locker room and play 10-15 minutes of quality minutes off the OKC bench. Maybe he could've done that in Los Angeles behind new guy Ramon Sessions. Maybe not. One thing Fisher is ready and willing to embrace is his new job of helping to mentor along Westbrook though.

“Every team that I’ve been on I’ve always felt like from a leadership standpoint my role is to help everyone,” Fisher said. “Obviously playing the point guard position, those are the guys I connect with the most. So whether it’s Russell or Royal or Reggie, I’m here to help and assist. I’m not here to tell anyone how to play. These guys are already pretty good without me. But I’m just here to offer nuggets of wisdom, advice, my experience, things I’ve been through. But also when Coach Brooks decides there’s the right time to get on the floor and play minutes, I have to be effective and play good minutes. I plan to help in every way I can.”

And Westbrook, who can be a bit strong-headed at times, said he's more than happy to embrace whatever Fisher has to offer.

“A lot," Westbrook said when asked what he could learn from Fisher. "He has been through it all and with his championship rings, I can learn a lot.”

The Lakers though, were ready to move on from all of that. They felt Fisher's on court play had dipped and whatever he could add in the locker room wasn't enough to warrant keeping him. Laker general manager essentially said he wanted Sessions to have the job all to himself without the distraction of having to shift Fisher. What does Fisher think about that? Not discussing it now, he says.

“I was surprised by [the trade], but since then I’ve very much realized it’s not about what went wrong and why it happened, but more so where I’m going next and the next chapter in my life,” Fisher said. “At the right time, I’ll be able to make statements and say things related to the Lakers and my teammates and guys that I used to play with, but right now for me, I’m excited about this team and the potential they have and what it is I can bring to something that’s already pretty good.”

Fisher was asked again about his departure from the Lakers but politely declined again, citing the desire to focus on his current task at hand with the Thunder. But it was pretty clear that Fisher has a lot to get off his chest. So for now, he's just going to say it with what he has on his back.