PHOENIX — Former Knick Tyson Chandler said he had only two conversations with team president Phil Jackson.
“The day he came and the day I was leaving,” Chandler said. “Both were short, brief. I don’t know him. I don’t have anything to say about him either way.
Jackson was hired late in March 2014, and traded Chandler to Dallas that June for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks. The deal didn’t net much but Calderon was eventually moved for Derrick Rose.
Chandler is from Southern California, so seeing how Jackson has irritated LeBron James and upset Carmelo Anthony with recent comments hasn’t surprised him.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s anything new,” Chandler said. “I grew up in L.A. I remember reading clips about Phil and Kobe [Bryant] and Shaq [O’Neal], and this and that. It is what it is. You’re in New York, so it’s different.”
But Chandler said those things can inspire players, especially on opposing teams.
“Can it motivate LeBron on the opposite side? Hell yeah,” Chandler said. “We have 82 games. Anything that’s going to fire you up, you take it.”
Chandler had a monster 23 rebounds, nine on the offensive glass, and 13 points in Tuesday night’s 113-111 Suns overtime victory. He was Defensive Player of the Year and made his only All-Star team as a Knick. He also played on their last playoff team in 2012-13, and likes the Knicks’ potential now.
“I like their roster,” Chandler said. “I think they got great heart, great talent, great young players. I think the franchise is in good hands, especially with [Kristaps] Porzingis. I thought they did a good job with mixing the vets around him to help him out.
“Melo is still Melo. Score the ball. I think he’s one of the best players in our league. Derrick Rose is looking like Derrick Rose. Not that I felt like he ever left, but he was battling through some injuries.”
Hornacek stays classy
Jeff Hornacek took the high road in his Phoenix return.
After he was fired in February — when injuries and a poorly constructed roster led to a 14-35 record — general manager Ryan McDonough said the team was undisciplined and Hornacek lost the locker room. Hornacek shrugged it off.
“I could show you texts I got from most of the guys,” he said. “That really didn’t bother me. I think that was what they wanted to put out there so they could make the change. It is what it is.”
Hornacek also said that when former Suns forward Markieff Morris threw a towel in his face during a game, “it had nothing to do with me. It was the organization and what happens.”
Backup center Kyle O’Quinn was back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s win over the Lakers, and he had 22 points and 14 rebounds.