Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Tyson Chandler to get his ring tonight
By Calvin Watkins
For the fifth and final time, the Dallas Mavericks will have a ring ceremony. This time it will involve one of the biggest pieces from their 2010-11 NBA championship -- Tyson Chandler. Chandler, the starting center on last year's team, will be presented with his ring prior to the Knicks-Mavericks game Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will say a few words prior to tip-off and present Chandler is ring.
"It's been a moment I've been waiting for really since we won," Chandler said. "[Been] doing a lot of celebrating and looking forward for the hardware."
Monday was the first time Chandler had been in the AAC since the end of the ticker tape parade through downtown Dallas. The Knicks practiced on the Mavericks' practice court and it brought back some great memories for Chandler.
"Coming back in this gym was an amazing feeling, just remembering the practices we went thought to get to the championship," Chandler said. "It brought back a lot of memories and a lot of motivation again; it couldn’t have happened at a perfect time. It's given me motivation for the second half of the season to definitely get my team over the hump."
After that championship season, Chandler expressed a desire to re-sign with the Mavericks, but owner Mark Cuban elected not to bring him back. So Chandler signed a four-year deal with the Knicks to add to a front line that already had Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Chandler said he's not upset to not be playing for the Mavericks and still stays in contact with several former teammates, including Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion.
"It was confusing at the time," Chandler said of how he left the Mavs for the Knicks. "Once I became a Knick, I let it all go. I never harbor any feelings. I understand this is a business at the end of the day. So you can't get frustrated or angry with somebody for making a business decision that they think ultimately is what’s best for their franchise, whether or not I think it's right or wrong."
Chandler, who is averaging 11.6 points and a team-leading 9.8 rebounds, is playing through a left wrist injury that requires him using a pad to minimize the force to his hand and also has his wrist taped. He's having difficulty grabbing the ball and fumbled a pass tossed to him by point guard Jeremy Lin during Sunday's overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.
He hasn't been a major force this season like he was in Dallas, but he's not second-guessing his decision to sign with the Knicks.
"No, I just understand [the business]," he said. "I know what it takes to win a championship. At this point, I'm not going back to the early days in my career where I sit around and I don’t voice my opinion. I'm going to push my teammates and myself and hopefully at the end of the day it makes us a contender."