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"A jail cell is just a room for rent": Chris "Birdman" Andersen hoping to make NBA comeback

Harrison Wind Avatar
November 28, 2018

Fresh off a BIG3 Championship this summer, Chris “Birdman” Andersen says his NBA career isn’t finished quite yet.

“I’m leaving my doors open,” Andersen said. “So that way if a team is looking for a veteran leader that leads on the court and in the weight room, come that time, I’ll be available. But I’m not retired yet.”

“Age is just a number, and a jail cell is just a room for rent. I’m always ready to play. You ain’t gotta get ready if you stay ready.”

Andersen, who turned 40 years old in July, spoke with the media prior to the Nuggets’ matchup against the Lakers. The Nuggets are honoring Andersen along with other past players this season. Andersen is being presented with a mural Tuesday night painted by local Denver artist Thomas “Detour” Evans.

The 6-foot-10 big man who went undrafted in 1999 last played in the NBA in 2016-17 when he appeared in 12 games for the Cavaliers. He averaged 9.5 minutes, 2.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game. Andersen played seven seasons in Denver.

With the Nuggets in 2009-10, Andersen averaged a career-high 22.3 minutes, along with 5.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He averaged a career-high 2.5 blocks per game with Denver in 2008-09. Andersen won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2013.

“Veteran leadership,” Andersen said when asked what he can bring to a team right now. “Working with guys who need a little help on the defensive end. I can help with showing them how it’s done as far as practice, how much weight room time you should spend and what you got to do in there.”

Andersen, who describes himself as an outdoorsman, recently returned to Denver after stops in Miami, Texas, Alaska, Brazil and China. Now that he’s back in Denver, Andersen is looking forward to getting back in a routine, which includes acclimating to the Colorado altitude again and working out at Red Rocks amphitheater. He said now his workouts are mostly in the weight room.

“I’ve been through a lot,” said Andersen. “I know some of these young kids are going through some things that they don’t know quite how to handle. I can be that guy that can give some wisdom.”

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