Knicks defensive anchor, Tyson Chandler, recently sat down with Morty Ain for a Q&A with ESPN Magazine regarding the upcoming body issue that features the 7’1 center. See what he had to say about growing up on a farm, biking, and his body issues:
Why did you decide to pose for the Body Issue?
TC: I think it gives the average person a good look at athletes’ bodies and why we are able to do the things we do. I think a lot of people are curious about it. I wanted to allow people to look at my body and see why I’m able to do the things I do on the court. Also, it’s a very artistic shoot, and seeing that in past issues made me want to do it.
How did you get started in basketball?
TC: My grandfather built my first hoop. It was a peach basket up against a tree, and we played in the dirt. I couldn’t have been more than 6 when he put it up, and I just started playing. I fell in love with the competitive nature of it. I remember seeing how intense it was, even early on, and I just love that.
Is it true you grew up on a farm?
TC: I did. I used to help my grandfather on the farm, driving tractors, raising crops and animals. I used to feed some of the baby cows and pigs, and I had to be no older than 7 or 8. Then at about 9 or 10 I started driving tractors. It showed me at an early age what hard work was all about and how dedicated you have to be, no matter what you do. I remember the passion my grandfather went to work with every day, and I think it rubbed off on me.
What challenges do you face with your body?
TC: Everyday living. Getting on an airplane, using the restroom in the airplane — they are totally not built for you. When you go to a restaurant, you can’t just take any table — your legs and knees don’t fit. Just little things like that you wouldn’t think about.