Chris Anderson — aka “The Birdman” — is ready to fly the coup in Miami. Should the Nuggets think about bringing him back to Denver?
According to a report by Marc J. Spears on Yahoo Sports, Anderson will decline the $1.5 million player option with the Miami Heat and become an unrestricted free agent. That means Birdman can sign with any team he wants during the offseason, and several teams could have interest in signing him after he’s played solid ball for the Heat over the last couple of seasons.
As Nuggets fans will recall, Birdman was one of the most popular and beloved athletes in Denver in recent memory, until an unfortunate incident ended his time with the team. From an article we posted here on Nugg Love a couple of weeks ago:
“Anderson was part of an investigation focusing on child pornography, and with a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head, he was let go by the Nuggets in the summer of 2012. After several months out of the league, Anderson finally found a new home in the NBA with the Miami Heat. And he’s thrived ever since arriving in South Beach.”
Birdman was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in the case, and to his credit, he seems to have put the unpleasantness associated with the incident behind him.
Anderson turns 36 this summer so he is in the twilight of his NBA career, but anyone who has watched him play alongside Miami’s Big 3 over the last two years can see he has plenty of gas left in the tank. His high energy, physical style of play would still fit well with the Nuggets’ system. With questions marks surrounding the return of JaVale McGee as he recovers from a leg injury that forced him to miss most of last season, I’d argue there’s a place on the roster for Anderson if both parties are interested.
It remains to be seen if the franchise has any desire to rekindle its relationship with the tattooed big man, or if Birdman would have any interest in returning to Denver if the Nuggets pursued him. But as a Nuggets fan, I think bringing Anderson back for one last hurrah would be a perfect ending to his career and go a long ways toward erasing the black mark that was unfairly placed on Birdman during his final year with the team.