Tyson Chandler may have been a highly recruited prep prospect, earning a feature on "60 Minutes" as a high school freshman and thrilling scouts with his play well before declaring for the NBA draft right out of high school, but the California native always put the necessary work in to sculpt his skinny 7-1 frame into something that was NBA-appropriate. While others of his age and ilk and talent level were barnstorming from major city to city in the AAU meat market, Chandler literally worked on a farm that led to that meat market — schlepping around his family's acreage during the summer to build that wiry frame.
And now, as you'll see after you click on the jump, the latest ESPN Magazine cover boy is seeing the work pay off. And the leading athlete in ESPN Mag's annual "Body Issue" and 2011-12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is showing off quite a bit for us to see. Like, some fabulously sculpted abs. And maybe a little butt-crack. And a good reason for Knicks fans to think that a player that was once referred to as oft-injured might be more than dependable as he works through the four-year, $55 million dollar deal he signed back in December of 2011.
Click the jump for Tyson's slightly-NSFW look:
The New York Daily News talked with the Knicks center to get his take on a pictorial that seems unlike Tyson and completely appropriate for Tyson, all at once:
The father of three laughed when thinking of what his teammates might say when the issue hits stands. "I don't even know if any of them know that I did it, but I'm sure I'll get teased when it comes out," he said.
The modest hoops player said his wife, Kimberly, didn't like the idea of sharing him with hordes of other women. But after some discussion, the artistry involved appealed to Chandler, an avid painter and photographer.
"I have the ability to do some extraordinary things in the court. I'm not one of those stand-in-the-mirror type of people," he said. "I love different aspects of art, and I can appreciate when a photo can be done correctly."
It was done correctly, Tyson. Good work. Now go add a gold medal to that pose.