Chandler 1-on-1: Germans, Diapers, Soul Food

In this exclusive visit with DallasBasketball.com, Mavs center Tyson Chandler discusses his All-Star desires, his nickname (or lack thereof), his favorite food, his weird diaper-wearing Twitter picture and his status on the Mavs as "the other German'' …

Fish: Let's begin with the revelation that Dirk Nowitzki isn't the only German guy on the Mavericks roster …

Chandler: "That's right! My grandmother, Granny Chandler, she's German. … She lives in Sacramento. I don't really know anybody else on that side of the family very well, and I don't know all the heritage. But she's my favorite German person. And Dirk's in second place. He's got that locked down.''

Fish: I assume Dirk knows about this, and given his sense of humor, and yours, that you guys have had some fun with it?

Chandler: "Oh, yeah. That's why I tell him, ‘You are my second favorite German. Behind Granny Chandler.' Sometimes when we're in a room together, or the first two guys at practice, I say, ‘Nobody here but us Germans.'''

Fish: You are given great credit for being a vocal leader on a team that has long specialized in "quiet leadership.'' Jason Terry says you are especially vocal on the road, when you go so far as to playfully tell the opposing crowd, "Shut up!'' How much of this is your nature, and how much is it you filling a role this team needs?

Chandler: "It's a combination of both. This team has always had leadership, with Dirk and J-Kidd and those guys. But I'm just trying to have fun with it, and just trying to express my personality. It all works because all the guys fit along. I love these guys; they are all my brothers, my second family.''

Fish: What's weird to me, though, is that for such a great communicator – and playing on a team that has really embraced social media, you've kind of let your Twitter account run dry. I know you work on your website Tyson Chandler.com, but don't you think Tyson Chandler on Twitter has some value?

Chandler: "I haven't updated it in a while, that's true. I need to get on it!''

Fish: One thing about your Twitter page, now that we're directing people there, they are going to see that painting of you … as a baby … in a diaper. Um … care to explain?

Chandler: "Here's the explanation on that picture: I didn't paint it, but I helped design it. It says a lot about me, the person I am and the kid I was growing up. Up top, in my face, and with the suit and tie. I'm all business. But below that, down deep, I'm still a kid at heart. That's what's being expressed there. So I'm wearing diapers and cowboy boots – and that's the real deal for me when I was little.''

Fish: Now, in that drawing on Twitter, the viewer can't see the cowboy boots ...

Chandler: "I used to wear cowboy boots everywhere. My mom couldn't get me out of them. Probably every day, until maybe the age of 6, I wanted to wear cowboy boots. I ran track in ‘em. I played soccer in ‘em. Once year, we moved, and we lost my boots. I couldn't bear it. My auntie bought me some new ones, and I wore them, wore them down, until my feet were almost sticking out the front of them.''

Fish: The good people at DallasBasketball.com are dying to give you a nickname; it's what we do when we are bored. Care to help us out? Provide some insight?

Chandler: "Well, my friends have always called me ‘T.Y.' If your name is ‘Tyson,' people want to call you ‘Ty.' So my friends changed it up, to ‘T.Y.' That's about it.''

Fish: Yeah, "T.Y'' doesn't do much on a t-shirt. And a baby in diapers and cowboy boots probably doesn't do you any favors. How about other habits … maybe, favorite foods?

Chandler: "I like ‘em all. How about soul food?''

Fish: Better than that: Because Rick Carlisle keeps referring to you as "our heart-and-soul guy,'' how about something with "Heart-and-Soul Food.''

Chandler: "There you go! Let's open a restaurant!''

Smile

Fish: On a serious note: Do you watch a lot of the other NBA games? And do you see the same things I see, which is that in the West, there probably isn't a center in the West who is outplaying you? You've yet to play in the All-Star Game ... how about an All-Star write-in campaign?

Chandler: "I'm all for that, too. Go for it! At different times in the past, my chance to make the All-Star Game has been kind of slim, for a variety of reasons. But this year … yeah, I agree. I think I'm playing as well as anybody. I think I'm as deserving as anybody. I'd love to be in the All-Star Game.''

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