Tyson Chandler is one of the league’s most respected big men, and his rebounding and defense is one of the reasons why the Houston Rockets still give the 37-year-old big man minutes during a game.
However, Chandler’s like a lot of NBA players in a way that a certain player them to work hard on their game and make it into the best basketball league in the world. For him, his biggest NBA inspiration was Kevin Garnett.
The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears wrote about Tyson Chandler’s perspective of being in the league and the various experiences he picked up along the way. He talked about the impact Garnett had on his career as a player.
“Kevin Garnett was the measuring stick. He’s everything that I wanted to be. Everything I looked up to. He’s what everybody in my generation was reaching for. He was just an animal. He inspired me from high school. When I was in the gym by myself, he was at the top. There were others that I got motivation from, but he was at the top of the list. Whenever I got tired, I would picture him in my head, picture him dog-tired, and picture him pushing through it to get to where he is.
Garnett was a dominant forward who became the prototype of what a modern NBA big man is during the 2000s. He averaged 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists throughout his 22 seasons in the league. He was a force to be reckoned with during his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it was with the Boston Celtics where the future Hall of Famer won his first and only NBA title.
While Chandler didn’t end up being a league-dominating big man the way his idol was, he has become a solid rock that teams could rely on. He was the force down the middle that stopped LeBron James and company from winning the 2011 NBA Finals. He has respectable numbers through more than 1100 games in the NBA, and the number of games he plays might increase a bit more.