Tyson Chandler life and biography

Tyson Chandler picture, image, poster

Tyson Chandler biography

Date of birth : 1982-10-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Hanford, California, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-08-04
Credited as : Basketball player NBA, currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks, U.S. national basketball team

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In baseball, a tie goes to the runner. In basketball, a Ty went to New Orleans—and the Hornets went to the top of their division. Tyson Chandler was a big kid until he arrived in the Big Easy. There he became a bona fide NBA Big Man. A top interior defender and rebounder, Tyson is learning to harness his offensive skilss and fast becoming one of the best all-around centers in basketball.


Tyson Chandler was born October 2, 1982 in Hanford, California. He was raised by his mother, Vernie Threadgill. His biological father did not have a hand in his upbringing. Tyson had two younger siblings, Terrell and Tervon. They grew up on his family’s farm in central California, just south of Fresno.

Tyson began shooting baskets at the age of three, on a rim that his grandfather Cleo fixed to a tree. Tyson and Cleo were as close as father and son. Years later, he called his grandfather his best friend. Cleo notwithstanding, the Threadgills were a matriarchal family. Tyson’s mom and grandmother did much to mold his personality.

Tyson was a farm boy. He milked cows, slopped pigs and worked in the field cultivating corn and okra. As farm boys go, Tyson was a tall one. When his family moved south to San Bernardino at the age of nine, he was already close to six feet tall. The children in his new school teased him. They assumed he was much older than he actually was, and that had been held back several grades.

It was in San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles, where in 1991 Tyson began to get serious about basketball. He was recruited to play on a local rec team and quickly found a comfort zone in the pivot. Meanwhile, Tyson kept growing. When he was 11, he stood 6–4. On Halloween, one house refused to give him candy because no one believed he was a kid.

In 1997, Tyson enrolled at Dominguez High School, in Compton. He had grown to 6–11 at this point, and soon became an object of excitement and curiosity. Tyson was not the least bit gangly or uncoordinated. He ran the floor like a player a foot shorter, with soft hands and fluid movements. On defense, fans tended to watch his shot-blocking and rebounding, but those in the know marveled at his sophisticated footwork.

The star of the Dons was senior Tayshaun Prince. He had led the school to a state championship the year before and was a McDonald’s All-American during Tyson’s freshman season. After Prince graduated, Tyson became the star of the Dominguez varsity. When the Dons traveled, he was besieged by autograph seekers. In 1999, the team went all the way to the state’s Division II title game and won.

As a junior in 1999–00, Tyson averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. He led the Dons to a second state championship in a row. Dominguez also captured the USA Today High School National Championship.

Tyson enjoyed another stellar campaign ss a senior, Tyson pacing the Dons to a 31-4 record and a third straight California state championship. He averaged 26 points, 15 boards, and eight blocks a game.


Tyson was not quite NBA-ready, but he seemed awfully close. After being told he might be the top pick in a draft replete with teenaged centers, he decided to forego college and throw his hat into the professional ring. Tyson was picked second in June of 2001 by the Los Angeles Clippers. He was hoping to go first, but the Washington Wizards tabbed Kwame Brown, another big man right out of high school.

Before Tyson could weigh the advantages of playing close to home and the disadvantages of suiting up for a perennial loser, he and Brian Skinner were shipped to Chicago for Elton Brand. GM Jerry Krause had a vision for the team]s post-Jordan era. The Bulls planned to use Tyson in a “twin towers” configuration with Eddy Curry, another high school phenom who had leaped directly into the pros.

Needless to say, Tyson felt the pressure to step into the lineup and fill Brand’s shoes. At 19, however, he had no chance to do this. Brand was a legit 20-point, 10-rebound center. Tyson had the instincts to play in the middle, but not the offensive skills. In this respect, Curry was ahead of him. The Bulls were willing to wait for both to fulfill their potential.

Chicago fans weren't as sure. The team won 21 games in 2001–02, tying the Golden State Warriors for the worst record in the NBA. Tyson showed enough as a rookie to earn 31 starts. He averaged 6.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. He typically played about 20 minutes a game. As with most young centers, foul trouble was usually a problem.

After the season, Tyson disappeared. He spent the summer on his family’s farm, fishing, doing chores, and recharging his batteries. The pressures of life in the NBA melted away when he was surrounded by his large and loving family. He returned to Chicago for the 2002–03 season ready to claim a starting role.

Tyson did just that, averaging 9.2 points with 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He shared frontline duties with Curry and veteran Donyell Marshall. The Bulls improved to 30 wins, primarily on the strength of guards Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford.

After Tysons solid sophomore campaign, Chicago fans expected him to take another step forward in 2003–04. Instead, he missed more than half the season with a sore back. It was just one aspect of a chaotic year for the Bulls, who dropped back into the division cellar. The team saw many players come and go, but among the new faces was rookie Kirk Hinrich, whom the Bulls viewed as a building block for the future.

Tyson was healthy and motivated heading into 2004–05. He reclaimed his starting role and was joined by a group of young players that included Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Chris Duhon and Italian import Andres Nocioni. The Bulls had assembled enough talent so that Tyson could focus on his strengths without exposing his weaknesses. He came into his own as a defensive force and flourished as a shot-blocker. Twice during the year, Tyson made dramatic game-saving swats, one against Paul Pierce and the other against Carmelo Anthony. The Bulls soared to 47 wins and celebrated their first playoff appearance since Jordan's days in Chicago.

Tyson was a major factor in a turnaround that better than doubled the team's 23 wins from the year before. His 9.7 rebounds per game put him in the Top 10 in the NBA. In the playoffs, the Bulls faced the Wizards in the first round. Chicago took the first two games, but Washington bounced back to sweep the next four. The Bulls, who were without Curry for the series, put up a good fight in the final two games, which gave fans hope for the future.

In fact, things were looking very good as the 2005–06 season started. The club had cut bait on Curry, who refused to submit to testing after being diagnosed with a heart condition. Also shipped away in the deal was Crawford, thus unclogging a crowded guard situation. That made Tyson the team’s center, and Chicago rewarded him with a six-year contract worth $11 million per. That wasn't the only good news that greeted Tyson during the off-season. He also married his longtime girlfriend, Kimberley.

Despite the security that should have come with a long-term contract, Tyson seemed tentative in 2005–06. He committed silly fouls and spent big minutes on the bench. In turn, his scoring dropped drastically to 5.3 points per game—10 fewer than many in the Chicago organization had envisioned. Part of the problem was a hiatal hernia, which made breathing painful and caused Tyson to miss several games.

To make matters worse, he and coach Scott Skiles did not always see eye to eye. Skiles liked his guards to do the shooting. So whenever Tyson launched a shot, he almost felt guilty about it. Ironically, the team had originally gone after Tyson because Krause believed he would develop a nice scoring touch.

The Bulls finished with a lackluster 41–41 record—and that on the strength of a 12–2 stretch run. They barely made the playoff, and were dispatched in six games by the Miami Heat, who went on to win the NBA championship.


The Bulls, desperate to recapture the magic of 2004–05, signed Ben Wallace as their new enforcer in the off-season. The writing was on the wall for Tyson. Since joining the team, he had been passed by several players in the NBA with less talent. Chicago, tired of “babysitting” Tyson, shipped him to the New Orleans Hornets for P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith.

Tyson joined a team that would play its second season in Oklahoma City, as New Orleans was still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina. One of the first things he did was establish his own fundraising effort, Rebound to Rebound. Every time Tyson grabbed a rebound, he donated $10 to a fund that helped teachers rebuild their homes as part of the Hornets’ Hoops for Homes program. He also challenged fans and local business to join him for as little as $1 per rebound. Thus far Rebound to Rebound has generated tens of thousands of dollars.

As the 2006–07 season began, Tyson could not shake the feeling that he had failed in Chicago. He believed that he had been “banished” to the Hornets. But New Orleans was hardly an NBA backwater. After a couple of down years, the team was on the upswing. Byron Scott was a terrific coach who knew how to instill a winning attitude in young players. Also, in assistant coach Kenny Gattison and VP Willis Reed, Tyson found two excellent teachers.

Tyson’s first season with the Hornets was an unqualified success. He was good for 10 points, 10 rebounds and couple of blocks almost every night. His 12.4 boards ranked second in the NBA. Tyson also shot a league-high 62% from the field, though technically he didn’t have enough baskets to qualify. Tyson was amazed when informed later that he had nearly become the only player besides Wilt Chamberlain to lead the NBA in shooting and rebounding in the same season.

More important, Tyson was proving to be the critical third piece of the puzzle in the team’s nucleus, which included point guard Chris Paul and power forward David West. Tyson—who immediately clicked with Paul on the alley-oop wavelength—was suddenly on the cusp of stardom.

In 2007–08, Tyson finally averaged his long-awaited double-double. By broadening his offensive palette, he became a legitimate low-post scorer. Tyson also continued to evolve as an offensive rebounder. His 11.7 boards placed him fourth in the NBA, and on many nights, half that number was made up of follow-ups of teammates’ missed shots. The Hornets—back in New Orleans and playing to larger and larger crowds—won the Southwest Division.

The Hornets erased any doubts that they were for real in the first round of the playoffs. Facing the veteran Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans won in five games. Paul set the tone on offense with two marvelous games to start the series, and Tyson ruled the paint.

The team’s magical run ended in a seven-game series against the San Antonio Spurs. Each team won at home until the finale, when the Spurs triumphed in New Orleans. Tyson was less effective in this series. For the entire postseason, he averaged eight points and 10.8 rebounds.

As the 2008–09 season neared, Tyson unveiled his newest weapon, a sweet midrange jump shot that is money inside of 17 feet. He worked all summer in hopes of bringing his scoring average up into the mid-teens. The addition of veteran James Posey to the frontline also promised to give Tyson more room to work—not to mention a teammate who knew a thing or two about winning.

The Hornets won on a regular basis to start the season. Tyson contributed with steady numbers, though his scoring did not reach the level he hoped. But even with New Orleans in solid position for a playoff berth, the team decided to shed salary. Tyson was shipped to Oklahoma City in exchange for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox.

Leaving a point guard like Paul would bea tough adjustment for Tyson. As it turned out, he didn't have to make it. Tyson failed his physical with the Thunder, for reasons not specified by the team. The trade was rescinded, and Tyson returned to New Orleans. His Hornets teammates were ecstatic—they never wanted to see him go in the first place.

At 26, Tyson is still a baby by big man standards. Physically, he is just now coming into his own. At the same time, he has logged enough playing time in the NBA to qualify as a veteran presence himself. If the Thunder get their wish, Tyson will continue to be a student of the game, but also be a teacher and team leader when crunch time comes.


Tyson is an intense and highly effective interior defender. He is quick and instinctive, and has learned to curtail unnecessary fouls. When a shot comes off the glass, he is among the best there is at controlling the ball. If anyone in the NBA could be considered a natural rebounder, it would be Tyson. Indeed, he has been compared with Dennis Rodman in the sense that he feels every ball on the glass is “his.”

Tyson’s shot-blocking numbers aren't over the top. But if stats were kept for shot-changing plays, he would rank right near the top among NBA centers. His offensive skills should continue to improve, as will his leadership abilities on a young team that is expected to challenge for supremacy in the NBA’s Western Conference.


* Tyson was named California State Player of the Year in 2001. He was also named to the Parade Magazine All-American team
* Tyson finished fifth in blocks and sixth in rebounds among NBA rookies in 2001–02.
* In 2006–07, Tyson started every game for the first time in his pro career.
* In 2006–07, Tyson led the NBA with 4.4 offensive rebounds a game.
* In 2007-08, Tyson became the first Hornet since Anthony Mason in 1999 to have a 20-point/20-rebound game.
* Tyson’s 38 double-doubles ranked 12 the in the NBA in 2007–08.
* In 2007-08, Tyson broke Larry Johnson’s franchise records for rebounds in a season.
* In 2007–08, the trio of Tyson Chandler, David West and Chris Paul combined to average 53.5 points, 24.6 rebounds and 14.9 assists. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen averaged 55.8 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists, while Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker averaged 57.6 points, 19.3 rebounds and 13.3 assists.
* Tyson was named the #1 alternate on the 2008 Olympic team. He did not play in Beijing.
* Tyson won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship.
* To celebrate his trade to the Hornets, Tyson came to camp with a Mohawk haircut.
* Tyson is an active participant in the NBA’s Read to Achieve program.
* Tyson and his wife, Kimberley, had their first child, Sacha-Marie, in 2006.

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