In just three games, Tyson Chandler has already made his presence felt for the Los Angeles Lakers, highlighted by his game-winning block against Trae Young.
When Chandler was bought out by the Phoenix Suns and cleared waivers, it was initially unclear what he could provide at 36 years old and in his 18th season.
However, Chandler has solidified the backup center position and is averaging 3.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 22.7 minutes.
Following the 107-106 win against the Atlanta Hawks, the former 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year detailed his thought process on the final possession.
“Honestly, you’re just trying to make plays. Not necessarily thinking about that,” Chandler answered when asked if he has ever had a game-winning block in his career.
“You just want to win. I was just trying to time him down the stretch. I saw that he committed to the basket and I was watching the clock and knew he didn’t have enough time to go to my guy, so I committed at the rim.”
As the Lakers are undefeated since his arrival, the one-time champion deflected the individual praise and focused on the team. “It’s all team,” Chandler said.
“I definitely appreciate it, but it’s gotta be about team all year in order for us to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
When Chandler was asked about what LeBron James said to him after the game-winning play, the latter quickly responded himself.
“That’s my dawg,” James shouted from across the locker room.
With James reportedly contacting his former teammate and Suns interim general manager James Jones to initiate the buyout, Chandler and his hometown team are making the most of this opportunity.