Wallace's Words Don't Sit Well With Chandler

December, 21, 2009
12/21/09
2:11
AM ET
Broussard By Chris Broussard
ESPN.com
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NEW YORK -- It would be easy to give Gerald Wallace at least partial credit for Tyson Chandler's season-high 14 rebounds in Sunday's 98-94 loss to the New York Knicks - even though the Charlotte Bobcats' forward sat out the game with a severe headache.

The night before, after an 8-point loss to Utah, Wallace had called out Chandler and Boris Diaw for their poor work on the glass.

"The 4 and the 5 [positions] got eight rebounds,'' Wallace said. "Individually, we're not taking pride in defensive assignments. We're not taking pride in helping teammates.''

When asked how the Bobcats could fix their problem, Wallace responded, "Can you fix somebody's heart? That's a personal thing.''

So when Chandler played his most productive game of the season a mere 24 hours later, the natural assumption was that Chandler had been motivated by Wallace's criticism.

But the 7-1 center said that wasn't the case. He didn't appreciate being singled out (along with Diaw).

"I think it's bull personally,'' said Chandler, who matched his season-high with 13 points. "When you lose and play like we do, you can't say that someone else is the problem. I don't feel like we're good enough to point fingers.''

One reason Wallace's words may have bothered Chandler is because Chandler is battling through ankle and toe problems. Though he's played in 24 of the Bobcats' 26 games this season, Chandler said he still is not fully recovered after having surgery on his left ankle and toe in May.

"Some days I feel like I'm 90 percent, then sometimes like last night [against Utah], I feel like I can't move,'' said Chandler, whose per game averages of 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds are his lowest since his rookie season. "Doctors have told me I won't be 100 percent until halfway through the season.''

Wallace, who is expected to play in Charlotte's game Tuesday against Detroit, said he wasn't trying to call out any teammates.

"That's y'all opinion,'' said Wallace, whose day-long headache was sparked by an inadvertent elbow Saturday night by teammate Nazr Mohammed. "My teammates know me, and they know I wouldn't single out a person on the team. That's not how I go. Anything I say to the media, I tell them. They know I'm not that type of person.''

The 6-7 Wallace, who is averaging an amazing 12.1 rebounds (nearly seven above his career average entering the season), said he was just trying to make a point about the importance of hitting the boards.

"I think it's just a thing where they kind of depend on me to get the rebound,'' he said. "And we need everybody to make a group effort. It's one thing for me to get rebounds, but we also need everyone else to go for rebounds. We need to just make a concerted effort.''

Chandler certainly did that Sunday night.

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