Tyson Chandler: all grown up

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Published: August 4, 2009

Like Hornets Hype said last week, it’s bittersweet seeing Tyson Chandler go; not so long ago we believed he was a key piece in a championship-caliber team, yet there’s no doubt Emeka Okafor is excellent compensation for him.

Tyson Chandler vs. Joel PrzybillaChandler will be missed for reasons beyond basketball. He came to New Orleans three years ago, spitting venom back at the Bulls for trading him. He felt he’d been lied to by then-Bulls GM John Paxson, and he was determined to make his former employer regret the deal.

Now Tyson has been dealt again, but he leaves the Hornets and New Orleans with nothing but kind words. Excerpts from his recent blog post:

I’m sad to leave New Orleans. I met a lot of people in the community that I got close to. It was an incredible playing environment, playing with a group of teammates that I grew to love and respect. That part I’m really going to miss. With those guys it was like a family. Being under Coach Scott and his staff and growing close with he and his family and the Pauls, really all of my teammates…

Everyone knows how I feel about Coach. I just love and respect him so much and he’s helped me turn my career around from where it was heading in Chicago, coming into New Orleans and allowing people to see that talent that I have…

I just want to thank the city of New Orleans, the Hornets organization for the opportunity and for the great couple of years that I had there. I also want to thank my Hornets teammates for everything they’ve done for me. I had great time in New Orleans being able to enjoy the game again, with them.

Sure, Tyson had a better run in New Orleans than he did in Chicago, but he could have easily taken some parting shots this past week. After all, he’s headed to a franchise that hasn’t won more than 35 games in any of its five seasons, and there’s not much to suggest Year 6 will be any different. Plus, no more easy buckets courtesy of the world’s greatest point guard.

But no. Tyson took the high road this time, proving he’s come a long way in three short years. He’s no longer a Hornet, but he’s left with a lot of fans in New Orleans.

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