HoopsHype.com Interviews

Tyson Chandler: "I can be as good as I want to be"
by Brian C. Hedger / March 20, 2002

Has your rookie season in the league been all it was cracked to be?

Tyson Chandler: Oh yeah, it's been all that and more. I think I've had a great season, as far as things I have to look forward to going into the summer. I know what I need to work on to get better, and that's what I'm going to try and improve.

You've had some ups and downs, though. Was it ever tough to just keep going forward? Have you had some mental fatigue?

TC: It gets difficult, but that's when you start to separate yourself from everybody else. That's when big time players are made. You know those tough times are only going to make you better. I've had some tough times, but I just never let the highs get too high or the lows too low.

Are there any players in the league whom you compare yourself to?

TC: I always leave the comparing to other people, but there are certain players whom I've gone up against that I have more respect for. Guys who I didn't think were as good as they actually are, or are actually better than I
thought they were.

Who are some of them?

TC: I have a lot more respect for Tim Duncan. I also have a lot more respect for guys like Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett, who come in and do the things that they do night in and night out. I've watched their games
before, and I knew they were good, but just being on the court with them, you really start to understand what they mean to their team.

Have you learned anything just from playing against them?

TC: Oh yeah, I've learned a lot from them -- just from the games that I had to go up against them. I can see what they do for their teams and try to do that for my team.

Talk a little bit about the length of the NBA season as compared to the high school season. How is it affecting you and Eddy Curry?

TC: It's really difficult. Not so much the games, even. Just the practices and the meetings and everything you have to do during the course of the season.

Is it mentally grinding?

TC: It really is, because you also have a lot of stuff to deal with off the court. Family matters, friends, business decisions you have to make ... Then you have to worry about basketball, too.

Are you liking the Windy City?

TC: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. The people here have treated me great ever since I got out here. It's a great town to play basketball in.

It hasn't been too cold for your California blood, has it?

TC: No, the cold is just something you have to get used to ...

You're lucky, though, you know that? This winter's been a walk in the park ...

TC: It's still something I'm trying to get used to, but luckily I'm either in the gym or my house, so it hasn't been too bad.

What's the ceiling for Tyson Chandler? Is there a ceiling?

TC: No. I think I can be as good as I want to be. It depends on how hard I want to work. I think I'm capable of doing some things people won't even expect me to do on the court.

If someone you knew was coming to visit Chicago, where should they go eat?

TC: I go to a place after every game called Lexy's. It's right off Madison. It's maybe two miles from the United Center, going (East) towards the Lake.

Small place?

TC: Yeah, it's small. They've got great Italian food. They all know me in there. I guess you could say I'm a regular. Nobody bothers me. I just sit in there and relax. It's a great atmosphere.

Talk about the Bulls for a second. Now that you've got Jalen Rose and Travis Best in here, what do you see for this team in the near future?

TC: Well, next year, our goal -- of course -- is to make the playoffs. But we've got to come in here and work. This summer's going to be a big time for us to improve. It all depends on how hard we work in the summer. Coming
into next season, if we take the summer stuff seriously, we could be OK.

Brian C. Hedger covers the Bulls for the Times of Northwest Indiana and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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