Childhood and youth
Tinsley grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended his first high school that he had to leave again but after a few weeks. His mother sent him to his sister then moved to Cleveland, where he was shot in the course of some transition - bickering after a few months. He then returned to New York and spends most of his time on the open places of the city and traveled with his AAU team Brooklyn USA to various tournaments along the East Coast. In these tournaments he met, among others, Stephon Marbury and Rafer Alston.
Tinsley had not graduated from high school and moved therefore to the Mount San Jacinto Community College in California. He did not require a degree. In the second year there, he was elected "State Player of the Year" and then had to change some offers to correct Colleges.
He opted for the Iowa State University. In his last year there, the 2000/2001 season, he was voted player of the year in the Big 12 Conference. With his team, but he left in the first round of the NCAA tournaments surprisingly made against Hampton University.
Tinsley was selected in the NBA Draft 2001, 27 out of the Indiana Pacers. There he played in his first two years under head coach Isiah Thomas as the starting point guard. For his achievements in the first NBA year he was appointed to the NBA All- Rookie Second Team. Under the new head coach Rick Carlisle Tinsley was replaced by Kenny Anderson and Anthony Johnson in the 2003/04 season, but was an injury of these two to use again in the top five to play. He and his team reached the final of the 2004 Eastern Conference. 2004-05 Tinsley had his most successful year, scoring 15.4 points for Indiana, 4.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
In the following years, Tinsley toiled around with multiple injuries and the team ultimately fell out of favor. Prior to the 2008/09 season Tinsley was informed by the Indiana Pacers that he train in the coming season not with the team still could play. The players' union appealed against this approach. In summer 2009, Tinsley was finally released by the Pacers.
In November 2009, Tinsley was hired by the Memphis Grizzlies, his contract was not renewed after the season.
In November 2011, Tinsley was the NBDL team, the Los Angeles D- Fenders, obliged.
In December 2011, Tinsley signed a Einjahrvertrag with the Utah Jazz. The Jazz Tinsley came mainly as a replacement from the bench. In the summer of 2012, the option to extend the contract by one year was drawn so that Tinsley remains for the 2012-13 season in the squad of jazz.
For the 2013-14 season Tinsley initially received a new contract. After the launching point guard Trey Burke drew upon an injury, the Jazz decided to extend the contract of Tinsley. After 8 games for the Jazz Tinsley was made redundant surprising.