In a move that's a longshot to fix the Miami Heat's rebounding woes but is a surefire, lead pipe lock to fix the lack of hilarious people on the Heat to write about on local blogs, the team has signed Chris "Birdman" Andersen, the heavily tatooed big man last seen leaving Denver amidst a federal probe into his connection with possible Internet crimes.
Did we mention he gives a great quote? Take it away, Birdman: "I went into Pat Riley's office and asked him if I could wear my headband because I do sweat a lot," he tells the Miami Herald while discussing whether the team's culture will mesh with his style. "He's like, 'Yeah,' because he didn't want me perspiring on his nice floor."
Yes, Riptide is officially excited for the Birdman Era to begin in earnest. But you may not want to rush out for your official Andersen jerseys just yet; the team only signed him to a 10-day contract, and also offered the same deal to another center, Jarvis Varnado.
The Heat are second-to-last in the NBA in rebounds right now, and are fairly desperate to try anything, including signing a 34-year-old who hasn't played in nearly a year.
Still, Erik Spoelstra is high on Andersen, gushing that "typically, you're not able to get a player of his caliber this time of year. Three years ago, he was the best at the game coming off the bench at his position as a shot-blocker and a rebounder."
Andersen did have knee surgery last August and tells the Herald he's stayed in shape with a dubious-sounding routine called "mountain training," so it's anyone's guess how much spring is left in his step.
But when the team's next best option is Dexter "Mountain of Velveeta" Pittman -- who is neither amazingly tattooed nor a hilarious quote -- why not give Andersen a whirl?
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Oh, and about that federal raid at his home in Denver? The details are still somewhat murky, but it's looking increasingly like Andersen was the victim of an attempted extortion. The day after the raid, his lawyer released this statement:
A female fan in 2010 mailed Mr. Andersen multiple letters and included several photos in which she was scantily clad. Chris and this woman communicated with each other and in 2011, this woman, who represented herself as 21 years of age, flew to Colorado, showing her required identification. After leaving Colorado, she became upset at his lack of interest. In 2012, she threatened to retaliate if he did not provide financial remuneration. [...] The investigation is expected to take three weeks. We're confident it will show that Chris did not engage in any criminal conduct.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, no charges have been filed, and Andersen tells the Herald he is "not the target of the investigation."