Your Dallas Mavericks are now only 6 days away until the start of the pre-season. Today marks the opening day of training camp. To continue along with our pre-season countdown, who else can you really place at #6, other than the man who made a lasting impression on the Mavericks franchise in only one season. Yes, we are talking about the man in the middle for your 2011 NBA Champions, Tyson Chandler.
The Mavericks’ history at the Center position has never really been a strong point, or anything to be that proud of. On July 13, 2010, that would all change. The Charlotte Bobcats and the Dallas Mavericks organized a trade that would send Alex Ajinca and Chandler to the Mavericks, and Eduardo Najera, Erick Dampier, and Matt Carrol to the Bobcats.
This was a move that expected great reward, IF and only IF he could find a way to remain healthy. This would be Chandler’s 10th season in the NBA, and in three of those seasons, he failed to play at least 52 games. In the two years prior to his arrival in Dallas, he had missed 68 games due to back issues and a stress fracture in his foot. It was a small risk by the Mavericks that would pay huge dividends.
Chandler would quickly show just how big those dividends were. His hustle on both ends of the floor, and his presence in the paint would provide Dallas the kind of “edge” that analysts said had been missing for quite some time. He fit in perfectly with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, and finally gave the Mavericks a guy who could finish at the rim. He averaged nearly a double double that season(10.1 pts, 9.4 rebs) to go along with 65% from the field.
The Mavericks finished that season with 57 wins and headed into the playoffs as the #3 seed in the Western Conference. They would go on to take down Portland, the L.A. Lakers, Oklahoma City, and Miami Heat en route to their first ever NBA Championship.
The Mavericks then had the unfortunate task of dealing with the new Collective Bargaining Act, which lead to multiple players from that championship roster going to different teams. Chandler would head to Madison Square Garden and play for the New York Knicks. He has thrived in New York, and even won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in his first year. However, despite his success in New York, he has always believed that the Mavericks could have had even more success had they kept a few of the players from that team.
“I’m very happy with this situation, but to speak past tense I definitely think that we had an opportunity to go back-to-back and unfortunately things were blown up”
Through it all, it must be said that no player in Mavericks history has ever made such an impact on a team in only one season. Tyson Chandler did it with hustle, energy, and an overall will to win. That is exactly how he went out as a Maverick, a winner.
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