New Los Angeles Lakers center Tyson Chandler is in the middle of his 18th NBA season, which means he’s seen just about every situation the league has to offer. Every situation, that is, exact for some of his family members rooting for him in Los Angeles.
Chandler told the versatile and talented Joey Ramirez in a must-read profile on Lakers.com that while this isn’t the first time he’ll play in L.A. since entering the NBA in the 2001 NBA Draft, it’s the first time he’ll play on the same floor as the Lakers with some of his more die-hard family members cheering him on:
Chandler said “it means everything” to finally have this opportunity to play for the city that embraced a farm boy from Central California.
“My family have always been Lakers fans,” he said. “Even with me in the league, it’s always a conflict of interest when I come into town — and a lot of my family don’t choose my team (laughs).
“They’re all excited. It’s gonna be like high school all over again.”
That’s truly bleeding purple and gold right there, the type of love for your team that won’t even change when your literal flesh-and-blood is suiting up for the opposition. I guess “fan” is short for “fanatic” for a reason.
But in all seriousness, it’s pretty cool that Chandler is finally getting a chance to play in front of his family on a more regular basis, and even cooler that some of them will even be rooting for him for the first time. Those specific die-hards have to be loving what Chandler has brought to the table for Los Angeles too, keying a three-game winning streak since his arrival and helping the team move out of the bottom-10 in the league in defensive efficiency.
If Chandler keeps this up, he’s going to have more ticket requests than he’s ever probably fielded from his family. And now, some of them may even wear his jersey and root for him, too.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.