Though he’s a member of the Houston Rockets nowadays, 19-year NBA veteran Tyson Chandler holds his time with the Mavs in high regard. So much so that he actually thinks he should have finished his career in Dallas.
Chandler and the Mavs won an NBA title in 2011, an accomplishment he says “means everything.” Alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas managed to knock off LeBron James and the Miami Heat in six games. It was Chandler’s first — and so far only — championship.
The Rockets veteran still thinks about that Mavs team:
“Do I think, ‘What if?’ with the Dallas team? Absolutely,” Chandler said, via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
“My championship with Dallas in 2011 means everything,” Chandler added. “I keep the ring in my safe. I bring it out every once in a while. Once I settle down and retire, I will probably enjoy the accolades a little more than I do now.”
In a moment that will go down in Mavs infamy, team owner Mark Cuban decided to break up his championship-winning team after the 2011 campaign. Chandler was a hot item on the market, but Dallas only offered him a two-year deal, which he declined. Chandler later noted his belief that the Mavs could have won back-to-back titles had they stayed together:
“If you ask me, I should have finished my career in Dallas,” Chandler said, via The Undefeated. “I should have played the last 10 years, and play 20 years, and finished there. But I also feel like everything happens for a reason. My journey was a hell of a journey. And I wouldn’t change it.”
Chandler joined the Rockets prior to the start of this season, signing a one-year deal. He’s enjoying his time in Houston, and he feels the team has what it takes to make a postseason run:
“It’s been so much fun playing for the Rockets,” Chandler told The Undefeated. “This is where the league is today. I feel like I’m with the best guys to do it in this style of basketball in James Harden and Russell Westbrook. It’s fun to be on this side and see it firsthand what they’re doing. And I just feel like this is the window for this team.”
Chandler missed a bit of time earlier this season due to pain in his ribs and spasms in his shoulder. He has since recovered, but the Rockets haven’t given him much playing time (five starts in 24 games played). The Compton native serves mostly as a mentor on the bench, though he is still a capable player.
The Rockets will look to snap a two-game losing streak on Saturday, when they’ll serve as hosts to the Lakers. Tip-off inside the Toyota Center is set for 8:00 p.m. ET, with ABC having live broadcast coverage.