Well, the NBA fall season is here with plenty of leaves and only a few stays. Specifically in the Nuggets case- how about Lawson’s haul of 48 million dollars for an extension of four more years? I wish someone would offer me 12 million dollars a year for tossing a basketball around. I do so every morning as if someone is paying me to do it. Why not ?
Danilo Gallinari has already messed up an ankle again, twice, but his dogged determination has resulted in some fabulous offensive playing anyway. He doesn’t pull in quite as much as Lawson but he hasn’t proven himself yet because of his penchant for getting hurt. I do believe he is going to achieve the fame enjoyed at one time by Carmelo Anthony and he’s not shy about playing some good defense. If you mention Melo’s name today-anywhere in the world- people say “who?” Javale McGee looks like he’s still playing high school basketball but there’s something in his style that reminds me of Birdman. The new French guy, Evan Fournier, looks very promising and did very well when he was suddenly called off the bench with the first game. At any rate, overall, the Nuggets are off to an evil start with no wins and it bodes a bad season. I hope I see something worth watching soon.
On Saturdays it tends to be nothing but football on T.V. I don’t know how many times I turned on the set last weekend, flipped channels around quickly and ultimately turned it off. Half a dozen times, I think. Yawn. When was the last time I sat down and watched an entire football game? I’m sure the total is twenty-five games at the most and only one time discovered that I was truly engaged in what I was watching. That was on January 25, 1998 when the Broncos went to the Super Bowl and played against the Packers and won! I was so happy because I placed bets that they would win and almost everyone was betting against them. Man, I cleaned up that year and I taped it. Hee hee hee hee !
However, I have to be honest and admit that I really don’t enjoy watching football, professional or otherwise. I can think of a hundred things I’d rather do and I feel that it is almost as brutal a sport as boxing. I feel sorry for the players most of the time because they don’t come away from playing professionally without wrecking their bodies and sometimes their health because of pain killing drugs, permanent injuries, etc. They are modern day jousters without the horse- yes, even the Broncos- but thank goodness they are not allowed to wield swords !
My biggest concern this year has been the whereabouts and circumstances of Birdman aka Chris Andersen. Of all the basketball players I have ever watched I have never seen anyone play like Birdman either in dunking, running the ball, jump shots or even his style of defense which is downright dangerous. He is a wildman with a basketball and he can fly across a court as if he really had wings. You’d never know by watching him what a hard life he’s had coupled with bad luck, tough times and problems with drugs. His latest stint with the law has me baffled because of the weird circumstances, lack of evidence (apparently) and sudden dismissal by the Nuggets even though he hasn’t even seen one day in court. I haven’t heard anything since August on television, nothing written up in the papers since July and I can’t find much of anything on the internet except what I’ve already found out this summer. The newspaper pointed out that Coach Karl really didn’t put Andersen in very much last season and I well noticed that but nothing was ever said.
Mid-July, Masai Ujiri announced that his contract under an amnesty provision, which is laid down in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, gave them the right to waive his contract and promptly replaced him with Anthony Randolph who has played for Golden State, New York and Minnesota. They haven’t said what this provision contains nor does it give us any idea what is going on. As a player Andersen is getting up in age although that’s hard to believe. He’s thirty-four but doesn’t appear that mature. Perhaps the tattoos are a mitigating factor.
He first signed on with the Nuggets in 2001 as an undrafted free agent and played three seasons. That initial signing was the 11th hour saving of a dying hero. He had played in China with the Texas Ambassadors, a semipro traveling team made up of former college players. That led to his signing with the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons which lasted four and a half months. Later, he was headed for a minor league post from Fayetteville, NC when he got the call on November 21, 2001 and it basically changed his life financially with a one-year, $289,747 Nuggets contract.
By January of 2006 he was playing for the Hornets after he had opted out of renewing his contract with the Nuggets in 2004 and riding on a $14 million deal from the summer of 2005. On January 25th, however, he was disqualified from the NBA for violating the anti-drug rule when he tested positive for a banned substance. He said, “When I look back at everything that happened, I don’t regret it,” he says. “This whole thing saved my life. I needed this to happen. I don’t know where I’d be today if I didn’t change my ways.”
Shortly after his expulsion, he entered a rehab clinic and in the summer of 2007, Andersen determined to return to the NBA, started working out in Las Vegas with trainer Joe Abunassar and playing in highly competitive pickup games featuring Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal and Al Harrington. He brought his weight down to 228 pounds, extended his shooting range and developed a reliable jump hook. He returned to Denver in 2008 and was among the strong roster of players- including Melo and Chauncy Billups – to take the Nuggets to the Western Conference finals. By 2009 he was second in the NBA for blocks per game and ranked fifth on Denver’s franchise list with 624 career blocks.
So, what happened to this fascinating and prodigious basketball player? I’m not really sure but I’ll try to put the puzzle pieces together as well as I can. Back in early May of this year, Denver’s Channel 9 News Team reported that Andersen’s house in Larkspur, CO had been ransacked by the police in which they confiscated his computer and other items. This investigation was initiated on a tip from a California law-enforcement agency, ICAC (Internet Crimes against Children) for the location and not Chris Andersen himself. Someone else is listed as a resident at his house and the Sheriff’s office would not say whether he was under suspicion or not. In addition, he cooperated fully with the authorities who confiscated his property, he hasn’t been charged with any crime and a Sheriff’s office spokesman, D. Sherman, declined to provide any details about allegations. That’s all I can find out and it appears that he was basically ushered out of the NBA because of this legal problem connected with his property and P.C. There isn’t any other reason that I can find out. Do you know anything ? If so, please leave it in the comments. I’d sure like to know what’s going on with this star-for-a-season basketball player.
With loving concern,
The Castle Lady
Special note: I made 26 baskets out of 30 throws, yesterday !