Dan Woike asked NBA players to tell us about the best game in their basketball career. This week: Tyson Chandler
Chandler, an Olympic gold medalist, NBA champion and onetime NBA defensive player of the year, has been all smiles since escaping Phoenix to join the Lakers’ bench this season. It was something of a homecoming for Chandler, who grew up in San Bernardino and played at Compton Dominguez High. Chandler played his “best game ever” trying to one-up a fellow prep star, even if the details are fuzzier than his long, black beard.
“It was a high school game. It was after Dajuan Wagner scored a 100 [in 2001] and I was going for a 100 too. I can’t remember if I had 60-something or 70, but it was after three quarters. It was a legendary coach we were against. I think it was before playoffs in my senior year. My coach didn’t want to embarrass him. We were already up by 30 or something like that, and so he sat me in the fourth quarter. Man, [it wasn’t just dunks]. Before I was in the NBA, I used to shoot jumpers and threes and all that stuff. You’re just in a zone. You’re not thinking about anything other than putting the ball in the basket and just dominating everything and everyone in front of you.”
Note: A Times reporter witnessed Chandler score 53 points in 2001 but could not recall the opponent.