Chris Andersen: What Comes Next?


This summer has been nothing short of eventful for the Miami Heat, and although things may have slowed down, there are still issues to be dealt with; for example, what will happen to Chris Andersen?

Andersen, who has been in the league for 13 years, came to Miami in January 2013. After initially signing two 10-day contracts, he stayed with the team for the remainder of the season and then was re-signed that July, and again last summer.

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While no two NBA journeys are ever the same, Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s path to success has been rocky. Growing up in Texas, Andersen was the second of three children to a corrections officer and a waitress; after his father left the family, he and his siblings were sent to live in a group home during middle school. However, things changed when he joined the basketball team in high school, and worked towards a college scholarship. Although he did not attend the University of Houston as planned, he went to Blinn College and led the National Junior College Athletic Association in blocks.

After a year of college ball, Andersen decided it was time to go pro. Unfortunately, he did not know he had to officially apply for the NBA Draft, and ended up having to take a few extra steps to make his dream happen. He played for the Texas Ambassadors (a semi-professional team) and then the New Mexico Slam, Dakota Wizards and the Fargo-Moorhead Beez (all part of the International Basketball League). He also joined the Sugarland Sharks of the Southwest Basketball League for a short period of time.

But the up’s and down’s did not end there.

In 2001 he was signed by the Phoenix Suns after joining the Cleveland Cavaliers during the Summer League, only to be later waived and entered the D-League via the Fayetteville Patriots.

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Fortunately, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Andersen actually became the first D-League player to be called up by an NBA team; he signed with the Denver Nuggets after playing only two games for the Patriots and so finally began his career as a professional basketball player. He has played for the Nuggets, the New Orleans Pelicans and the Heat.

At the age of 37, it seems as though Birdman’s career may be dwindling down. Despite still averaging 5.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks last year (numbers not so far off those of his earlier days), Miami is shopping him around. Yearning for some luxury tax relief, the Heat are trying to get rid of Andersen’s contract.

The big man is set to make $5 million during the 2015-2016 season, and because of players like Josh McRoberts and Amar’e Stoudemire on the roster, Andersen is not necessarily needed anymore.

With that said, the question becomes where might he end up?

For a while, the rumor mill had Andersen heading to New York via the Knicks as a back up option for Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis. But having just signed Kevin Seraphin to a new contract, that no longer seems like a possible scenario.

The other team linked to Andersen (and just about every other available player in the league, if we are being honest), is the Los Angeles Lakers. However right now, there is nothing set in stone there, as there are a handful of different ways the Lakers could proceed to rebuild their troubled team.

But perhaps Andersen will be able to call Indiana home, as the Pacers no longer have either David West or Roy Hibbert…

Of course, Birdman could always just call it a day and start a new chapter as an actor. Having recently appeared in The Rock’s Ballers, he definitely brought his unique flair to the screen. (Disclaimer: because of the language used, this is NSFW.)

What do you think comes next for Chris “Birdman” Andersen? Sound off in the comments below!