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Lakers Coach Mike Brown glad Tyson Chandler left Dallas

December 29, 2011 |  2:34 pm

New Year's Eve is still a couple of days away, but Lakers Coach Mike Brown felt like celebrating with some champagne earlier this month.

The reason: Tyson Chandler left the Dallas Mavericks to join the New York Knicks as a free agent.

The defensive-minded center was a key part of the Mavericks' run last season to their first championship, averaging eight points and 9.2 rebounds in 21 playoff games.

Now he's in the Eastern Conference, far away from the Lakers ... except for Thursday's game at Staples Center. He signed a four-year deal worth a reported $50 million.

"I think it's great," Brown said of Chandler's departure from Dallas. "I thought about taking my wife to dinner, busting open a bottle of champagne. I figured it would be a little too expensive and wasn't quite worth it. But I was happy."

The Lakers weren't so happy when guard Baron Davis chose the Knicks after being waived by Cleveland two weeks ago. The Lakers inquired about Davis but were rebuffed.

"He's a very talented ballplayer that could help anybody," Brown said. From my understanding, we did not offer him [a contract]. I know we talked to him about it. We wanted to have a face-to-face with him.... I think he was leaning to New York from the beginning."

Davis, 32, is not playing Thursday and is out indefinitely because of persistent back pain. He averaged 13.1 points and 6.7 assists last season with the Clippers and Cleveland.


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-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Dallas center Tyson Chandler, left, smiles as he's heckled by Lakers fans while standing next to Andrew Bynum during Game 2 of the 2011 Western Conference semifinals at Staples Center in May. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times