Tyson Chandler loves Mavs, but had to go
Tyson Chandler has known since the opening hours of post-lockout negotiations that he’d be a former Maverick soon.
|Free-agent center Tyson Chandler announces that he is signing with the New York Knicks. |
“The most difficult thing is having to make those phone calls to Dirk and Kidd and Jet and all the guys that I played with,” Chandler said Friday on ESPN 103.3’s Ben and Skin Show after confirming that he’d agreed to terms with the New York Knicks. “When I say this, I say it from the heart: I truly love those guys and I will forever, because we stood side by side and accomplished the ultimate.
“You can’t do that and not have a respect for each other. We did that, and nobody can take that away from us.”
Mark Cuban has made big-dollar, long-term commitments to many big men during his 11-year ownership tenure. Chandler performed better than Shawn Bradley, Raef LaFrentz, Erick Dampier, DeSagana Diop and Brendan Haywood and would have certainly been rewarded with a lucrative, long-term deal if the circumstances were different.
However, Cuban is determined to maintain the financial flexibility he firmly believes is necessary to improve the Mavs in the future under the new labor agreement. As a result, the Mavs topped out at a two-year offer for Chandler, who opted to explore several situations that offered more security before settling on the Knicks.
“I could just tell with the mindset that it wasn’t going to work,” said Chandler, who stressed that he has no animosity toward the Mavericks. “I had to come to grips with that and I had to be OK with that. I wouldn’t want to put a financial strain on the organization and not allow them to make any moves for the future, because obviously I want to play on a winning team and a team that has a chance to compete.
“If it just didn’t make sense for myself and the Mavs, then it just didn’t make sense. Sometimes it happens like that.”
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