What Tyson Chandler brought to the Dallas Mavericks and others as a player
Tyson Chandler wasn’t just a versatile big man who could patrol the paint as an enforcer and alter shots. He was the voice and “spirit,” as then-Mavs coach Rick Carlisle called him, of that team. His presence both on the floor and in the locker room was commanding, and he wasn’t afraid to call out teammates whenever he felt they weren’t working hard enough, regardless of the setting or player.
For lesser teams, such as Charlotte and later the Knicks after they faltered in his second and third seasons with the team, that could become grating and be considered a “detriment” to locker room chemistry. To Chandler, it was simply about accountability and leaving everything you had out on the floor.
Prior to coming to Dallas, Chandler had already lived the life of a borderline NBA journeyman, playing for the Bulls, Hornets, and Bobcats before the age of 27. Plagued by injuries and forced to work ever-harder to rebuild his body and repair his reputation, he put his Compton roots to use, forging a mental toughness and attitude that would serve him well throughout his career.
He didn’t care for excuses or lackluster effort. As a teammate, he wanted your best, because that’s what he was prepared to give you every time he stepped out on the floor or into a locker room.