‘Birdman’ Andersen hoping to win first title
by Alex Kennedy, USA TODAY Sports
Chris “Birdman” Andersen has never been on an NBA championship winning team. And until a few months ago, he probably thought he might never get that chance.
Five months ago, Andersen was an unrestricted free agent, bouncing back and forth between his homes in Texas and Colorado and wondering if he would play in the NBA again. The 34-year-old was coming off of knee surgery and legal issues that threatened his career after 11 seasons in the league, and he wasn’t even watching NBA games at that point.
“I wasn’t watching basketball then, bro,” Andersen told USA TODAY Sports. “Nope. I was out in the country. I was hunting hogs, messing around and hanging with the homeboys. That’s it.”
Then, in January, the Miami Heat called Andersen and offered him a 10-day contract. He jumped at the opportunity, realizing that this was a chance to revitalize his career and compete for a championship.
“It was a call,” Andersen said with a smile. “They wanted me to come in to bring energy and defense off of the bench and provide a little spark. That’s what I’m here for.”
When Miami brought Andersen in, he had to get into playing shape.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to work out like I normally do during the summers because I had knee surgery so when I came in I was probably around 50 percent basketball shape,” Andersen said. “It took me a while to get to the point where I’m at. I put in the hard work, lifting weights a little bit more, riding the bike a little bit more and doing some extra sprints after games, stuff like that.”
He has been one of Miami’s best role players in the 2013 postseason, averaging 7.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 15.3 minutes.
During the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers, Andersen missed just two shots in the series, finishing 16-of-18 from the field.
Andersen hasn’t even had a chance to look back on his amazing journey and it’s not something that he’s going to focus on until after the season is over.
“I ain’t got no time to reflect,” … [For more on Chris 'Birdman' Andersen hoping to win his first title, click here.]