Tyson Chandler has been the heart and soul of this current Knicks team ever since his arrival last season. The amount of toughness he brings on defense cannot be measured on a stat sheet. Chandler is averaging around 12 points per game this season as the Knicks have gotten off to a fast start. And he believes this team has turned the corner due to some key offseason acquisitions. Tyson Chandler joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to discuss the New York Knicks’ offseason acquisitions being the difference in a fast start this season, Rasheed Wallace’s play so far, Carmelo Anthony being a changed player since the Olympics this summer, Anthony becoming a better defensive player and not particularly caring about the Brooklyn Nets rivalry.
What’s been the difference in this Knicks team this season? Why has the team played better early on in the season?
“Well I think it’s a combination. I think having the time to have a true training camp and also having time to practice and implement our defensive strategy, as well as offense, and also the acquisitions we made this summer — Bringing in Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Rasheed Wallace. They were huge pickups for us and really changed the outlook of our team — Marcus Camby as well.”
Could you argue that Rasheed Wallace has been the biggest offseason acquisition for the Knicks?
“Oh man, I am so proud with what Rasheed has been able to accomplish because it shows the type of talent he is. I was just talking about it the other night. I don’t know who else could take two years off and come back and play at the level that he is playing at right now. You’re exactly right. He’s out there playing defense and barking out calls. He’s learning our strategy as well as providing us a big punch off the bench.”
Do you agree that Carmelo Anthony has been a changed player since the Olympics this summer?
“I agree with you 100 percent. I think it’s the best thing that could have happened to him, to be able to play this summer and be able to stay in shape and play at a high level and play against, obviously, incredible competition, as well as get his [mind] right. Carmelo is a huge competitor and he wants to be one of the best players in this league, and he is one of the best players in this league. Being around those guys this summer I think got his competitive juices going.”
Has Carmelo been playing both ends of the floor well?
“Absolutely. He’s definitely playing on both ends and you’re exactly right. Being the star player and a key player is not just playing on one end, it’s playing on both ends. That’s really how you make a championship run and that’s what he’s done already now. He’s been an incredible leader and he’s leading by example. He’s getting out there. He’s hustling, not only with what you guys are seeing at games, but it’s the same thing at practice. He’s paying attention to film. It’s all the little things that make a huge difference.”
Do you guys care as much about the rivalry with the Brooklyn Nets as much as the Nets do?
“I care about losing. I don’t like to lose to anybody — a rivalry or whatever. I’m not still caught up into that to be honest with you, but I have a bad taste after that loss and I am looking forward to playing them again.”