Mavericks center Tyson Chandler spoke out on Friday about the Knicks' criticism of him being a player who caused problems inside the organization last season.
"I did nothing but try to help the culture there the three years I was there," Chandler told ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon. "You can say I didn't live up to whatever or you didn't like the way I played or anything. But to ever question who I am and the type of leader I am in the locker room, I don't even know where that came from.
"I honestly don't know where that came from. I don't know if [Knicks president] Phil [Jackson] put that out there or who put that out there, but to me, that was the ultimate shock. And you don't have to say that to get rid of me or to trade me. The trade is over.
"So to judge my character and what I've done, you can go look at all my teammates and ask all of my teammates in the past, and the coaches I've played for, and I've never been a problem and never had a problem. So that was a shock to me that I didn't appreciate."
Jackson cited his desire to "change some of the chemistry" of the team as a reason why he traded Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to Dallas in June.
Writes MacMahon: "Mavs owner Mark Cuban, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle all cited Chandler's outstanding leadership ability as one of the motivating factors in bringing him back to Dallas. Chandler was widely recognized as the spiritual leader during Dallas' 2010-11 championship season."
The 31-year-old Chandler averaged 10.2 points and 10.1 rebounds in three seasons with the Knicks, was an All-Star in 2013, when New York won its first playoff series since 2000, and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12. He is a 13-year veteran of the Bulls, Hornets/Pelicans, Bobcats, Mavericks and Knicks.
"It makes no sense," Chandler said of the criticism. "If you call holding people accountable daily being a bad influence, then hey, I'm a bad influence. But I'm going to be that as long as I'm going to strap up my shoes and step on the basketball court. And that was the big problem there.
"That's the biggest thing. I guess if that's why I was a bad influence, because I wanted to do things the right way, then I guess I'm a bad influence. But I've never heard of that. I thought that was being a professional.
"You can go to any of the staff members or anybody and ask them what kind of guy I was when I was there, and if I was the guy who was pushing for what is right all the time and they would tell you so," Chandler said. "That more than anything in my career caught me off guard. I can stomach somebody saying he didn't produce or whatever, and that's just motivation. But a shot at someone's character or professionalism, that's a little far-fetched."
- Chris Mascaro