Former New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler recently shared a story about how James Dolan helped him through a difficult situation.
New York Knicks owner James Dolan was in the news recently concerning drama with filmmaker and Knicks superfan Spike Lee. However, around the same time, former Knick Tyson Chandler took the opportunity to praise Dolan.
Ian Begley of SNY reported that while with the Knicks in 2014, Chandler’s mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Chandler says Dolan was there for him. Chandler kept the news private but when Dolan found out, he offered Chandler his personal plane to visit his mother, who lived in Los Angeles, as often as he wanted.
“Basically, after every game, I would leave, go to the West Coast in LA, be with her in the hospital, sleep there, sleep with her,” Chandler said. “And fly back to New York and then play. … I did that the whole end of the season.”
Chandler’s mother passed away in 2016, but the kindness and compassion Dolan showed him went a long way.
“I got nothing but respect for him,” Chandler said. “He stepped up and it took a lot of weight off of me, honestly. So I’m very appreciative for him in that moment, the way he stepped up… If somebody comes to me and asks me, I say he’s a great dude. He looked out for me in a time of need. So that’s the kind of stuff people don’t hear about.”
As Chandler said, the vast majority of people don’t hear stories like this one, but that just shows that we don’t always have the full story. Begley notes that Chandler’s question was not necessarily a defense of Dolan, but it does show another side to the Knicks owner.
In three seasons with the Knicks, Chandler averaged 10.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. He was also the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, becoming the first in franchise history to take home the honor.