DALLAS – This series is a childhood dream come true for Southern California native Tyson Chandler.
He’s always wanted a chance to knock off the Lakers.
“Some players used to imagine themselves as other players,” said Chandler, who moved throughout Southern California as a child and attended high school basketball powerhouse Compton Dominguez. “I used to imagine myself killing the Lakers. Hopefully, my dreams come true.”
Chandler’s first basketball memories were watching the Showtime Lakers, who won five titles during the '80s. He was in high school when the next Lakers dynasty, featuring Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, emerged.
But Chandler never envisioned himself in the purple and gold. Not that he was a fan of the Clippers. Chandler just wanted the challenge of beating the champs in his hometown.
Now he’ll get that chance. It’s unlikely he’ll get the last-shot scenario that he played out in his mind so many times while balling in his backyard, but as ESPNDallas.com's Jeff Caplan detailed in his column, Chandler will play a crucial role in the series as the Mavs try to match up with Lakers bigs Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
“When you grow up in L.A., you either want to grow up and be a Laker or when you’re on another team, you want to kill the Lakers,” Chandler said. “I’m on another team; you know what I want to do.”