DALLAS – Tyson Chandler acknowledged that a "happy feeling’’ came over him this past June when he heard he was headed back to play for the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs acquired Raymond Felton and Chandler from the New York Knicks on June 25 for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and a pair of 2014 second-round draft picks. It was a move which helped the Mavs hop right back into the NBA championship conversation.
Chandler was the Mavs’ starting center when they captured their only NBA title in 2011. At the time, he was the team’s emotional leader on and off the court and he helped clean up whatever defensive deficiencies his perimeter teammates encountered.
But when the 7-1 Chandler and the Mavs couldn’t agree on a new contract when he became a free agent following the 2011-’11 season, Chandler was eventually traded to the New York Knicks on Dec. 9, 2011 in a three-team trade which ultimately netted him a four-year, $55 million contract.
However, despite playing three seasons for the Knicks, Chandler’s heart apparently was always back in Dallas. Even though he only played just one season for the Mavs.
"I enjoyed my entire time with the Mavericks and it was a sad process for me and my family leaving Dallas, especially after the amazing experience and amazing run that we had,’’ Chandler said. As I left I told those guys, ‘You know, I love you and I’ll love you forever and I love everything you have done for me and did for me.’
"I understand the (NBA) business and I guess it wasn’t meant for me. But I guess it is meant for me to be back now.’’