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Lakers’ Tyson Chandler says Suns bought him out because ‘they weren’t gonna play’ him

Tyson Chandler, Lakers, Suns

New Los Angeles Lakers center Tyson Chandler has brought more than just a winning attitude to the locker room, but a storied reputation for being the ultimate professional. The 7-foot-1 center explained why the Phoenix Suns sought out a buyout agreement with him — being upmost frank, yet respectful of the team’s decision and intent.

“They weren’t gonna play me. They were gonna go younger again, and I’ve been through that for three years,” said Chandler, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic. “I think they felt it (was) right by me to allow me to go where I wanted to go and continue. I was appreciative of it. Regardless of (Phoenix’s) record, regardless of whatever happened, I love those guys over there. Those young guys that I went to battle with, they were always good at listening. It was never bad.

“Regardless of the losing situation, those are all good dudes over there. I didn’t have any bitter taste in my mouth while I was leaving. It was all positive, and I was appreciative (of) them allowing me to go. I think it was a good thing on both ends. I did what I could do while I was there, and they gave me the opportunity (to move on) when it came.”

Chandler has built a career-long reputation of being the ultimate glue guy, given his willingness to help young players (something he’s still doing in L.A.) and be the mentor they need throughout a long NBA season.

The 36-year-old spent three-plus seasons of his career in Phoenix, but logged only 166 games, keeping his body relatively young by playing less than 30 minutes per game in a youth-infused system. Saving his legs early on has allowed him to earn 20-plus minutes with the Lakers and still be a presence at the center spot, despite his age.