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Tyson Chandler avoids Lakers' celebrations

It's tough to escape when you live in Los Angeles, but Dallas center tries not to watch.

May 03, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Dallas forward Tyson Chandler, right, blocks a shot by Lakers center Andrew Bynum during the Lakers' loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Monday.
Dallas forward Tyson Chandler, right, blocks a shot by Lakers center Andrew… (Jayne Kamin-Oncea / U.S.…)

If Tyson Chandler didn't see the final seconds when the Lakers won a title, then really, did it actually happen?

That has to count for something as Chandler, a Los Angeles native, doesn't have to fight off mental images of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Co. winning championships, now that he is trying to beat them with the Mavericks.

On Monday night, Chandler, the 7-foot-1 Mavericks center, helped neutralize the Lakers' Andrew Bynum during Dallas' 96-94 victory in Game 1.

After the game, Chandler mentioned he has been in town during the Lakers' past victory parades.

Has Chandler, who jumped from Compton Dominguez High to the NBA in 2001, ever been to one?

"No, not at all. I was too bitter," he said Tuesday at practice in Playa Vista at the Clippers' training facility. "When they started back winning, I was in the NBA and it's tough to watch teams celebrate when you're a competitor. Every time they celebrate, my entire family — most of them are Laker fans — so they were excited and I was a little bitter."

He was amusing when he spoke about his TV viewing patterns during the NBA Finals. Chandler didn't quite go into seclusion but …

"I'd go and watch the Finals up till the last couple of seconds and then I would just turn," he said. "You can't escape it when you live in L.A. everybody is talking about the Lakers and you see the flags and everything.

"It's tough being in the league and always wanting to win and always wanting to win the championship and being in the city where somebody is celebrating every other year."

He was equally honest about the Mavericks' reputation as a soft team and said Monday that he was "sick of hearing it," but willingly admitted he called them that too before getting traded to Dallas last summer from Charlotte.

"That was one of those things when I came here I wanted to turn around because I knew if that was my mind-set, it was probably was some other people's mind-set too. It's a process. But I felt like we're up for the challenge. When things get tough, this team doesn't back down," Chandler said.

Said teammate Dirk Nowitzki: "He brings toughness to the paint defensively, athleticism that I haven't seen at the five spot [center] since I'm a Maverick. His ability to move, recover, pick-and-roll defense. It's been a pleasure to play with.

"The thing I most love about him is his positive outlook on everything. He's never down."

Delete it

Dallas guard Jason Terry replied with a series of no comments when asked if Lakers reserve Matt Barnes had anything to say to him during Game 1, or vice-versa.

OK, then, did he like Barnes' Mohawk?

"I like DeShawn Stevenson's Mohawk," Terry said.

Terry spoke about what was said in the locker room at the half in Game 1 after the Mavericks' painful final 0.7 seconds, in which he played a huge part with his half-court foul on Lamar Odom

"Erase what went on in the last 30 seconds of the half and let's go forward and fight," he said.

Delete?

"Delete. Delete," Terry replied, making the motion like he was pushing a button on a machine.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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