At practice on Tuesday, Tyson Chandler revealed that the Los Angeles Lakers weren’t the only team vying for his services. According to Chandler, the Golden State Warriors were interested in signing him as well.
The Warriors signed four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum this summer, but Cousins isn’t expected to make his return until the start of the new year. The 36-year-old could have had a prominent role with the team and might have even competed for the starting job, but Chandler told reporters on Tuesday that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear the purple and gold his family happens to root for:
Before signing with the Lakers, Tyson Chandler said he narrowed his choices down to two teams. “Here,” he said, “and the Warriors.”— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 13, 2018
Tyson Chandler said there were 5 teams that expressed interest in him after the buyout with Phoenix, and he narrowed it down to two (Lakers and Warriors). He was grateful to the Suns for giving him the chance to move, especially early in the season, so he’d have time to gel.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 13, 2018
Tyson Chandler said there were 5 teams in the mix for his next landing spot and he narrowed it to two: Lakers and the Warriors. Ultimately says he could only see himself in a Laker uniform.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 13, 2018
It’s only three games into Chandler’s Lakers tenure, but he feels like his decision has paid off so far. Chandler could have played a role in what will likely be another deep playoff run for the Warriors, but he said he feels valued playing for the Lakers and it’s given him newfound energy and excitement.
After Tuesday’s practice, Tyson Chandler said he’s been energized by having a clear purpose on the court, and playing for something. Lakers are 3-0 since he was acquired.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 13, 2018
That energy and excitement poured out when Chandler made the game-winning block against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. He and James celebrated like they had won Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and Chandler told reporters after that game that his and James’ ebullience was because they both want the same thing for the Lakers.
”Honestly I don’t know (what was said),” Chandler said following Sunday’s win. “We were like two kids jumping for joy.
“We both want exactly the same thing, and that’s to turn this historic franchise that has won throughout the years and get it back to those type of days, and in order for that, you’ve got to have these type of moments. So I love to learn in games like this because then the young players are a little more receptive,” Chandler continued. “I’d rather learn on nights like this then to take an L from this, and then it’s kind of hard to preach the things that you want to preach.”
While James was surely happy to get the win, he said he was mostly just happy to see Chandler contributing to a winning team again.
“It was just off the reaction of Tyson ... for him to be playing winning basketball once again, I think those emotions just came out,” James said. “To make a game-winning block you don’t see that much in our league. You see a lot of game-winning shots and assists, but for you to see a game-winning defensive block like that, you don’t see that much in our league. So, for him to go up there and get that on a guy shooting a floater and time it perfectly we were all excited about that.”
With the effort he’s been providing on the defensive end, Chandler will continue to carve out minutes in the rotation, and with his rediscovered love for the game that comes from no longer playing on a rebuilding team, things only promise to get better for the former Defensive Player of the Year.
“I’ve found myself acting like a kid in a candy store all over again. Honestly I can’t be thankful enough,” Chandler said.
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