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Blog: By George
When Kimberly Chandler learned how sick her husband was before the NBA playoffs were about to begin last week, she immediately got on an airplane and flew to Miami to administer her own treatment plan.
“I literally gave him every herb you can think of and kept him in the bed,” said Chandler’s high school sweetheart and now wife of seven years. “I kept him held up in a hole, trying to get his immune system back up. With this condensed season, they have no time to recoup. I think he was just exhausted and his immune system was down. So whatever he was susceptible to, he got it. It was awful. He was in a lot of pain.”
Paul J. Bereswill
NOT ON MY WATCH: The stellar defensive play of Knicks center Tyson Chandler earned him the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Chandler was feeling no pain yesterday as he became the first Knick to accept the NBA’s coveted Defensive Player of the Year award during a press conference at the team training facility. Chandler called it the fulfillment of “a career-long dream,” and thanked his teammates for making it possible.
“I’m not in the top in blocks and I’m not in the top in steals, yet I win an award because I’m able to get a lot of my teammates to play a team game,” Chandler said. “I try to do the right things defensively. I’m just glad it was recognized. Hopefully it takes us further as a team.”
The award came on a day when the Knicks needed some good news. Not only are they down 0-2 to the Heat in their best-of-seven series, but earlier yesterday Amar’e Stoudemire was trying to explain the events leading to his self-inflicted hand wound after punching a fire extinguisher case following a Game 2 loss in Miami.
Stoudemire won’t play tonight and could be out for Game 4 on Sunday. Add the season-ending knee injury to Iman Shumpert and the continued absence of Jeremy Lin because of a knee injury, and the Knicks will be without two starters tonight, making a dominant game from Chandler imperative if the Knicks are to avoid a record 13th straight playoff defeat.
“It seems like this team has done better short-handed and with our backs against the wall,” Chandler said. “Seems like every time somebody got hurt or something happened, other guys have stepped out and taken on the challenge and we’ve been able to bounce back. I really look forward to the way my teammates respond.”
It wasn’t that long ago when the Knicks held a similar press conference to introduce Chandler as part of the Knicks’ new Big Three of Chandler, Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. It was at that press conference when then Coach Mike D’Antoni talked about winning an NBA championship this year.
But D’Antoni resigned under the pressure of a losing season, while Anthony and Stoudemire were in and out of the lineup with injuries. Chandler has been the lone constant, spearheading a defensive philosophy that has helped the Knicks get this far.
“It’s been a growing process,” Chandler said. “We’ve had our ups and downs and our lapses. But for the most part guys really tried to buy in. It’s unfortunate that Coach D’Antoni had to be the one to take the bullet to spark things. But it seemed like things were sparked after that. Guys started to wake up and actually come to play.”
There will be continued debate about whether the Knicks can win a championship with Anthony and whether Stoudemire is damaged goods. There are no such doubts about Chandler. He already has a NBA championship ring, and capturing the Defensive Player of the Year award on a team that was defensively challenged before his arrival speaks volumes about his impact regardless of what happens tonight.
Now if only his wife could heal lacerated hands and torn knee ligaments.
Tyson Chandler, Knicks, NBA, NBA, Kimberly Chandler, Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, press conference, press conference, the Heat, Defensive Player of the Year award, immune system