May 12, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) shoots over Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen (11) during the second quarter in game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Andersen: Loyalty Played Big Part in Staying with Miami Heat

If there is one theme for the Miami Heat’s offseason, it’s loyalty. Either an apparent lack of it or refreshing amount of it, loyalty has played a major part in how Miami’s offseason has shaped up.

LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers out of loyalty for him home state. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen re-signed with the Heat because of loyalty for the organization that had set them up for career success.

Andersen, who made a promotional appearance at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Coral Springs, has become an instant fan favorite. As Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel describes it, he was “mobbed” by fans during an autograph session.

“It was definitely the loyalty from the fans and from the team,” said the Texas native who signed a two-year, $10.3 million contract with the Heat last month. “That had a big part of it. And it’s matter of me ending my career in a place that I’d be happy at and am familiar with.”

Having turned 36 on July 7, Andersen said there should be no concerns about his health moving forward, having arrived at Saturday’s event alongside personal trainer Tony Falce.

“I’m healthy,” he said. “Absolutely, I’m healthy.”

After an offseason of changes for the Heat, Birdman figures to maintain his role of first big off the bench, spelling center Chris Bosh for about 20 minutes per game. It’ll be interesting to see if Erik Spoelstra plays more combinations of Bosh and Andersen together now that Bosh figures to be the primary scorer.

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