The loss of big men Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge for the London Olympics after surgeries have created a huge hole in the middle of the USA basketball team but not if Tyson Chandler can help it.
The New York Knicks center is ready to put his own red, white and blue Superman get-up and fly to the rescue after the Knicks playoff run is through.
After the injuries to the two centers and Andrew Bynum saying he wasn't interested in joining the squad, Chandler may now even get to start for the U.S. Olympic team.
Chandler, who was not selected for the 2008 Olympic gold-medal team but was a member of Team USA in the 2010 World Championships says he wants in. He was already named one of the 20 finalists for 2012 in London in January.
"I'm definitely ready to represent my country," Chandler told The New York Post. "I'm very excited. Just to be able to be considered for the USA team is a blessing and something I'm very proud of. I committed myself when I joined in 2007. I still feel that way."
Although Chandler didn't play at this year's 2012 All-Star game, he's had a remarkable season and is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. His 'D' on the court is outstanding. In the three games he's missed, the Knicks allowed an average of 116.3 points— far above their average in the Mike Woodson Era.
How will his tenacious defensive style do against the high-scoring gunners of the other Olympic teams?
"I'm a defensive guy, but I'd fit very well in the offense," Chandler said. "That's a [Mike] D'Antoni-run offense— a lot of pick-and-rolls and a lot of slips. That goes right along with the style I play."
Chandler is averaging a double-double 11.4 points, 10.0 rebounds for the first time in his career and his 68.9 percent shooting is by far tops in the NBA. Expect to see him on a lot of All-NBA teams when the season is over.
Last summer, Chandler put an NBA championship ring on his finger— with the Dallas Mavericks— and now it sounds like he wants to add a few more rings to his collection— Olympic rings.