Chandler: Rose ‘really grew up’ this summer


Oct 15

It’s probably no coincidence that Tyson Chandler’s best seasons as a pro came as a Hornet, with point guard Chris Paul running the team.

During the 2006-07 season, his first year with Paul, the former Bulls forward/center averaged 9.5 points, a career-high 12.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. The following season, he averaged a double-double.

Thus, Chandler understands the value in having an elite point guard with the ball in his hands. This season in Dallas, Chandler’s tenth in the NBA, he is paired with another great point guard, future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.

Following Friday’s team shootaround at the United Center, he spoke highly about a third point guard who he got to know pretty well this offseason, Derrick Rose.

“He definitely has a bright future,” said Chandler of Rose. “I think he’s one of the top point guards in the league right now.”

Rose and Chandler spent the summer together as members of the USA Senior Men’s National Team that re-claimed gold in the FIBA World Championships. Chandler, who also spent time with the USA Basketball program in 2007 on the qualifying team and tried out for the 2008 Olympic squad that won gold in Beijing, was impressed by Rose’s ability, all-around game and leadership.

“Before, I just thought he was an individual player—great individual scorer and great individual talent—but he showed me a lot out there,” said Chandler. “He showed me he’s very capable of being a leader and running a team. He’s a great playmaker and defender. I think he really grew up out there and it was great for him because he had a chance to be around a great vet like Chauncey [Billups] and learn some things.”

Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle echoed those thoughts and may have offered some subtle advice as he discussed Rose and how he might compare with Kidd.

“Rose is in the process of becoming a great player, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got Hall of Fame ability and he certainly is on that path,” stated Carlisle. “Jason Kidd is one of the guys that have defied Father Time because he takes such great care of himself. He’s got some unusual gifts and he’s got a great intellectual curiosity and aptitude for the game. It’s allowed him to play at an extremely high level for an extremely long period of time, which is not easy.”

Carlisle, a former assistant coach who worked his way up to a head coaching job as Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau did, albeit at a quicker pace, added that he has an idea of what to expect from the Bulls this season, given Thibodeau’s style and work ethic.

“They’re going to be a tough, physical, persistent team both offensively and defensively,” Carlisle said of the Bulls. “If you don’t compete against them for 48 minutes, you’re going to get your [butt] kicked. Tom is a no-nonsense, kick [butt] guy and they’re going to play the same way.”

What do you think? Leave a comment below: