Chris “Birdman” Andersen cut by Denver Nuggets, child-porn investigation a factor?

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from www.westword.com – The Denver Nuggets have reportedly cut Chris “Birdman” Andersen and signed free agent Anthony Randolph, most recently of the Minnesota Timberwolves, to fill his slot on the roster.

Andersen was once among the most popular Nuggets. However, that was before he was embroiled in what was initially described as a child-porn investigation — although his attorney depicts it as starting with an extortion attempt.

In May, as is outlined in our original reporting, Andersen’s home in Larkspur was searched by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, accompanied by representatives of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. The agencies were said to have been acting on a tip from a “California law enforcement agency” first received in February and had been investigating the Birdman ever since.

Computer hardware was reportedly seized from the residence. Meanwhile, the Nuggets granted Andersen a leave of absence to deal with the situation — and shortly thereafter, Andersen attorney Colin Bresee released a statement about the case.

In it, he maintained that circa 2010, Andersen began receiving letters with accompanying racy photos from a female fan who claimed to be 21 but apparently was not. She flew to Colorado the next year, and when Andersen didn’t return her affections, Bresee says she “threatened to retaliate if he did not provide financial remuneration.”

In other words, Andersen wasn’t a child-porn fancier but a victim, his attorney claimed. And at this writing, he still hasn’t been charged with a crime.

Nonetheless, the Birdman stayed on the shelf — not that his absence made much of a difference to the squad’s subsequent playoff run, since he hadn’t gotten much floor time over the previous weeks and months. Indeed, one local blog actually published a goodbye to Andersen even though he was still on the roster.

Given these circumstances, Birdman probably would have been waived during the off-season even if he hadn’t suddenly been at the center of a shocking news story. His on-court skills had declined to the degree that even his previous popularity wouldn’t have convinced Nuggets management to keep him around long-term.

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