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Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen: Child Crimes Probe Clears Heat Star

With ‘Catfishing’ Scheme News, ‘Birdman’ Can Focus on Heat Three-Peat

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COMMENTARY | After a lengthy child crimes probe, Chris "Birdman" Andersen was cleared of any wrongdoing. Wednesday, sources say the Miami Heat star is not the subject of charges stemming from a "catfishing" scheme.

Catfish case fried as "Birdman" gets his name back

Fourteen months after the Denver Nuggets released Chris Andersen using their amnesty clause, the 6-10 NBA center has a new chapter in his life.

Last year, "Birdman" became the target of a probe by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. The so-called "catfish" case involved allegations of child pornography and extortion, among other things.

Although the sheriff's office raided Chris' home in search of electronic evidence, "Birdman" was not charged with any crime at the time. Nonetheless, a veil of suspicion plagued the troubled baller and the Nuggets barred him from all basketball activities. Shortly, thereafter, he was waived. Imagine that?

Wednesday, a spokesperson from the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office, said that "based on the information that we have been able to obtain and analyze, we are not pursuing charges against Chris Andersen."

From the beginning, "Birdman" professed his innocence and said he was duped. And after authorities later combed through a long trail of disturbing evidence, it appears his assertions were correct.

Chris "Birdman" Andersen: Internet case news a good thing for Miami Heat

While Andersen's former Nuggets team said his 2012 release was done to free up salary cap space, sports pundits said the move was motivated by the criminal investigation. Understood.

At the time Denver waived Chris, it was likely good for the city, fans and franchise. Perhaps, the decision to sever ties with Andersen was a business decision designed to free up any distractions.

Fast-forward to today, and I'd argue that the Nuggets wish they had stayed the course until the facts painted a better picture.

Pat Riley must be credited with seeing through the muck with his Zen-like decision to hire "Birdman" to the roster. And long before Wednesday's news confirmed Chris' claims of innocence, Miami gave its newest rock star a raise with another contract.

Based on the manner Andersen played last year, you'd never guess that he was still under investigation for his alleged ties to an underage acquaintance, 17 at the time. It's odd, given that the age of consent in Colorado is 17.

Nonetheless, many can doubt that it was heroic play from Chris "Birdman" Andersen that helped catapult the Miami Heat to another NBA Finals title.

In the 2012-2013 playoffs, Chris averaged 15.2 points, 1.1 steals and grabbed nine boards over 36 minutes of play, according to Basketball-Reference.

Based on his win-shares over 48 minutes (.309), without question, he gave the Heat energy off the bench needed to protect the paint and get easy buckets. Note: the league average is only .100 for comparison.

Like they say: "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Bradley is a professional writer and journalist, sportswriter, and avid fan of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and all things tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat developments.

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