Sporting a black sports jacket over a black shirt in the typical New York style we come to expect from Tyson Chandler, this was a different look for the 7-footer.
The answer is simple. After 12 arduous seasons in the NBA, Chandler landed on the All-Star stage and he had a visible glow on Friday afternoon.
As Chandler ascends to the prime of his career, he rode the escalator up to the NBA media circuit in a symbolic visual of the state of his life at the age of 30. The big man posed for photos and answered questions with a bright smile found under his thick beard. This was his moment to shine in front of the large collection of media members from around the world.
The interesting portions of Friday’s media availability was the significant praise from Chandler’s peers, and, yes even some of his arch rivals in the Eastern Conference. Here's what they said:
“When Tyson was selected for the All-Star game, I was happier for him than he probably was for himself. Tyson is one of those guys who is a prototypical center not just how he plays the game but how he carries himself and what kind of teammate he is. I love him, that’s my brother and always will be and he should be a perennial All-Star."
“When I heard it, I was like; wow this is his first one. It’s scary but Tyson has gotten better every year, it started when he was in New Orleans obviously and it picked up again in Dallas and he’s continued to get better."
“Defensive Player of the Year. He changed the whole culture of what it means to play defense back in that city of New York. Our league isn’t filled with very many centers anymore but he is like one of those guys that could have played in the 90s, the center, real tough, physical, rebounder, and doesn’t care about getting the ball."
"He knows what he does well and he does it to the best of his ability and I think there is something to be said for that."
“He’s been an All-Star caliber player for years now but just to finally get that recognition, I know it’s very special for him. Not a lot of guys get a lot of love being the utility type guy but I think that is good for kids to see because you don’t always have to shoot every shot and average the most points to be considered an All-Star."
“I think he’s developed over the years. Obviously, he came in very young and able to find his role in the last couple of years. He is a real team changer. He’s been on winning teams and got himself a championship and made himself a real asset, so it’s great for him to be here and great for him to be rewarded for that."
“Tyson is hell of a player. We’ve been battling for a little while now. If they didn’t have Tyson, they wouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing right now."