In 2011, Tyson Chandler played an important role for the Dallas Mavericks as the team took home the Larry O’Brien trophy, priding themselves on defense as they emerged as NBA champions.
Following his championship victory, Chandler took to the Big Apple and signed a multi-year contract with the Knicks. Fresh off being crowned an NBA champ, the big man continued to accomplish big things in 2012.
Rising above as the true anchor of the Knickerbocker defense as he helped change the defensive mentality and culture inside The Garden, Chandler became known as a force to be reckoned with. For his efforts, he received the 2012 “Defensive Player of the Year” award.
Not stopping there, the Knicks’ center took advantage of his growing notoriety, representing his country as he helped the United States bring home the gold medal in the Olympics this summer.
Needless to say, accomplishing so many great things in such a short amount of time is certainly a special feat.
But perhaps fans don’t necessarily realize just how special it really is. According to ESPN’s Chris Palmer, this summer Chandler joined quite the elite club. The center is paired up with just Michael Jordan as the only two players in NBA history to have won an NBA ring, a “DPOY” award, and an Olympic gold medal by the age of 29. Standing alone with such company is very impressive.
This only further proves the Knicks made the right choice in waiving a player of Chauncey Billups’ caliber and taking the risk in order to sign Chandler last winter. Many believe it will be stars like Carmelo Anthony and/or Amar’e Stoudemire who will truly help lead the team back to greatness, but the stone cold facts prove Chandler is simply a winner in just about every sense.
What will be Chandler’s next huge accomplishment? With the momentum clearly in his favor, and Dwight Howard ready to don purple and gold for the Lakers in the West, could an All-Star nod be next for New York’s big man? It will be interesting to see what next season holds for both Chandler and the Knicks.