Tyson Chandler stood, surrounded by reporters and cameras Monday night, and he couldn’t help but laugh.
It almost seemed like a Rodney Dangerfield routine. The center of attention after posting his third consecutive game of at least 20 rebounds, he was doing his interviews with a Ravens Super Bowl champions hat on as the result of an ill-fated bet with Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony.
That is nothing new for Chandler. Though there is little doubt he is one of the key components to the Knicks’ ascendance this season, he has found the praise countered with criticism. Upon earning his first All-Star game spot, he found himself called into the office of coach Mike Woodson for a reality check.
"I knew it wasn’t good because I wasn’t playing well," Chandler said of the meeting. "It was on a three-game stretch where I knew I was playing bad. I was frustrated with myself. It’s just like going to the principal’s office or going to get a whooping because you didn’t do something right."
"I just want him to be complete," Woodson said. "I didn’t think he was playing complete basketball. He was taking possessions off. He wasn’t moving the pace offensively and he wasn’t getting it done in terms of rebounding the basketball. You can’t be an All-Star and not play like it. He was voted as an All-Star and he deserves to be an All-Star, so that’s how he’s got to play."
It was hard to argue with the criticism since Chandler was held to two points and three rebounds in 36 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks prior to the meeting. And Chandler has responded to the wake-up call, posting 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting in the next game and following that with the three straight 20-rebound performances.
That run of 20-rebound games tied the franchise record last achieved by Willis Reed in December 1969. Now, Chandler is seeking to become the first player in Knicks history with four straight games of at least 20.
Knicks: Chat with coach sparks Tyson Chandler
Bergen Record | Feb 6