EL SEGUNDO, CA – Tyson Chandler revealed on Tuesday that he reduced a list of potential landings to Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors before negotiating a buyout with Phoenix Suns.
"It was like five teams and I reduced it to two," said Chandler, who played at Compton's Dominguez High School. "And then I had to do some hard thinking and pray.
"And then I [could] Just look at myself in a Lakers uniform. So it made me kind of decision. "
A blown lead, missed free throws and a nice finish – the Lakers held against Hawks and have a winning record for the first time in two years.
It took 12 matches, but the Los Angeles Lakers finally held an opponent under 110 points and improved to 6-6.
Lakers (7-6) have won three straight games with Chandler on the floor and have won five out of six matches entering Wednesday's match against Portland Trail Blazers.
The 36-year middle is on average 8.3 returns, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in 22.7 minutes from the bench. He has played decisive fourth quarter through three matches, last known a game-winning block at Trae Young at the summit to let the Lakers fly with a 107-106 victory over the hawks on Sunday.
"I mean, he's huge," said LeBron James. "We knew we had one [backup center] place that needed some security and for us to get Tyson in the way we got him and to just implement him directly and the impact he has made in three games? "
"You see many game-winning shots. You see a lot of game-winning help," James said after winning the victory over Atlanta. "But to see a game-winning defensive block, you do not see much in our league so he'll get up and get it on a guy shooting a float and doing it perfectly, we're all excited about it. "
Trae Young tries to win it with a runner on the track, but Tyson Chandler stands up to float it and strengthen the Lakers 107-106 victory.
Prior to Chandler's arrival, Los Angeles scored against the third-third of the league with a 111.5-defensive score. With Chandler, their defensive scores have risen to 97.4, first in the league, albeit a small test.
And while McGee has played some of his career's best basketball (13.7 points, 7.4 returns and 3.0 blocks), it came in his most minutes since the 2011-12 season. Chandler's arrival made it possible for Lakers coach Luke Walton to find more opportunities to rest L.A.'s starting center.
But the veteran wanted to assure McGee that he came in to support both McGee and Lakers.
"For me, I try to do it, it's not about me and he," said Chandler. "I'm not here to take somebody's job. I'm here to try to make the team better. I hope to make the job easier so he's healthy so he can play all year and give us the kind of minutes he's giving . Like me. The goal is for us to help each other, not against each other. "
McGee shared the feeling when asked about any interruptions when he handed out Chandler.
"He's damn close to the same player I'm," said McGee. "I fit in quite a bit [good] so I count [he] will also come. "
Now, McGee, who played for Warrior's last two seasons, played and Chandler, like the Angry Warriors, both together for the Lakers.
Chandler is grateful that he is in a situation where he plays in games that matter and on a team that is a playoff contender.
"Very surprised," said Chandler to be released from his contract in Phoenix. "But I was grateful to the suns to allow me to leave at that moment, because if you come in February or March, it's hard for a player because you're so behind and you go straight into the playoffs and you're not really able to gel as much as you would like. "
"So for me to get it done so early, it gives me a chance to gel with the guys, hit the battle with the guys, go through the upside down, really be part of the team so come playoff time we're really together on an agreement. "