HOUSTON -- Tyson Chandler was one of Jeremy Lin's biggest supporters when Linsanity was at its peak last season. But he said Lin is the enemy now.
"Once we're on the court, that goes out the window," Chandler said before Friday night's game. "I don't have friends on other teams. I wear a Knicks jersey and that's it. I've been that way my entire career. You don't wear my jersey, and for 48 minutes, we're enemies."
But Chandler has remained in contact with Lin. He reached out to Lin before the Knicks left for this three-game trip and told him he was looking forward to playing against him and to keep working and playing hard.
Even before Linsanity, when the Knicks played here last season, Chandler said Lin impressed him with the way he attacked and ran the pick-and-roll in former coach Mike D'Antoni's offense. Four games later, Lin got his shot against the Nets -- and an international phenomenon was born.
"I thought he could help us because he could penetrate," Chandler said. "At that time, we didn't have a guard that could penetrate and draw the defense and play the pick-and-roll, and that was a lot of Coach's offense. I was like, at least he's penetrating, and we can run off that. But I wasn't the one that suggested it."
Chandler is happy for Lin and what he's done for his career. "He was a good kid," he said. "He worked extremely hard and was passionate about the game and he wasn't cutting any corners. I just wanted to see him get a shot. He's a perfect example for kids out there: Just continue to work, stay the course, and when you get your opportunity, be ready."