Tyson Chandler on “The Wire”

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Whenever someone links to a Tyson Chandler blog post, I always enjoy it. Should probably bookmark his blog. This link came from Bill Simmons. Here ‘s an excerpt from Chandler’s take on the end of The Wire, but it’s all worth reading:

I just don’t understand how it came to such a halt, like all of a sudden it was the last season. We should complain to HBO, definitely.

Right now, I’m like Scottie Pippen when he pointed at the MJ shoe, like “Come back.”

The Wire shined a lot of light on what’s going on. All of this stuff really happens. Like the politics, the police not having any money to do their jobs, the newspaper printing the wrong stuff, the drug trade. It’s amazing to me because it so reminds me of how I grew up.

We all identify with it, because a lot of athletes came from single-parent homes and from the inner cities. So, we’ve all kinda been through the same situations. And so when you look at it, it’s just crazy. Because I still get calls from my homeboys who get harassed by cops and got beatdowns just because of where they live at.

My mom and my family made sure to always talk to me, because they understood what was going on around me and they understood the neighborhood we lived in. So they made sure to always talk to me all the time about drugs, about people who were dealing, people who were running around and shooting people.

There were times where I was approached by people in the game, but my buddy’s cousin basically ran the ‘hood. If something was about to go down, they would tell us to go home. If there was gonna be a shootout, they made sure we were as far away as possible.

There’s also a crazy anecdote in there about Chandler and his friends having to run from house to house under adult supervision with their Sega so it wouldn’t get stolen by junkies.

To me, the saddest thing about the last season of The Wire is the misplaced rancor the show stirred up at the end. I don’t know how many profiles — some positive, many others not — were written about David Simon, the driving force behind the show and an unapologetic know-it-all. And apparently there’s been a ton of carping online over the show’s dramatic merits in Season 5. Who cares? Leave it to the MFA’s. Simon’s damn right (even if he writes like a jackass) when he says that all that crap misses the mark.

The show’s popularity has always stemmed from its legitimacy — people like Chandler were finally seeing their story told without sentimentality, and people like me suddenly couldn’t ignore that the horrors of the show (and the triumphs) were more than just dramatic devices. That’s why we all watched. The thought that should follow is that The Wire depicts real problems, ones that deserve our lasting attention. What we can do, what our politicians can do, what those communities can do, that’s where the discussion should have been and should be now. All the rest is bullshit.

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