It’s hard to imagine a player completely dissatisfied with a season in which he captured the Defensive Player of the Year award and registered the highest field goal percentage in 39 years.
Tyson Chandler would trade all the accolades for another shot at the title following his championship run with the Dallas Mavericks in 2010-11. The big man never makes excuses but there is no doubt that he believes a complete training camp with a newly formed squad will elevate the Knicks to the next level.
“It’s very important because that’s where you get your identity, defensively and offensively. I thought we did a great job of becoming a good defensive team throughout the season without any of that. When you have a full training and you are able to go, ok this is going to be our system and how we are going to attack people, it makes it a lot easier,” Chandler explained.
The 29-year old proved his worth after inking a long-term deal with New York prior to the start of the truncated season. Patrolling the paint, searching for shot blocking opportunities, rebounding, and playing the quarterback on the defensive side of the floor were all strong points for Chandler this year. Entering his 11th season in the league, Chandler is now focused on improving other areas of his evolving game.
“I want to come back stronger,” Chandler definitely stated. “I want to come back in better condition. I want to be more of a force on the block and I want to pass better out of the pick and roll. I just want to become more of a threat. For myself and Amar’e [Stoudemire], we have to become a threat on the block. Like I said, we have the pieces here; we just have to get better.”
As one of the most respected players in the league, Chandler is usually the first player to speak to the media, regardless of the outcome. He owns a straightforward, no-nonsense type personality with leadership qualities that permeate throughout the Knicks locker room.
“When I came here, I came here with one thing in mind and that’s what is going to drive me as long as I’m here. It doesn’t happen overnight and I’m very aware of that. It doesn’t make losing any easier, it’s always tough and it’s nothing I will ever get used to but at the end of the day, it pushes you to want to do better. This summer, I’m going to work even harder than last summer,” Chandler expressed.
In his first season donning the orange and blue, Chandler had a tremendous impact at the center position. Moving forward, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year will expand his skill set and work towards lifting the Knicks into contender status for 2012-13.