The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 September 2006

The grounding of Birdman

After half a year of suspension from the NBA and thirty days of rehab, Chris "Birdman" Andersen has straightened up.

Will he fly again? There's still the rest of the suspension to serve, and he can't play overseas or in the CBA, which honor the NBA's suspensions.

Marc Spears of the Denver Post thinks the NBA should back off just enough to allow Andersen to play in the D-League:

What would it hurt for the NBA to allow Andersen to suit up for the expansion NBADL Colorado 14ers? Isn't losing the majority of a $14 million contract and being kicked out of the league punishment enough? The minor-league team could give the 28-year-old without a college degree a chance to keep his skills sharp and live a positive life. It also would give the interested Broomfield team a marquee name player.

"If he's demonstrated strong rehabilitation, we'd certainly be interested," said Gary Hunter, the president and CEO of the 14ers' parent company. "It's all subject to the NBA's rules and guidelines."

Andersen, who is working out daily, said: "It would definitely help me out to play. Staying in shape. Staying on top of my game. Improving on areas in what I need to improve."

Mixed emotions here. I'm a hardass about punishment generally; on the other hand, earning one's way back into the good graces of the powers that be has a certain philosophical appeal. For now, I'm tilting slightly toward "second chance."

Also: 14ers? I'm told that this refers to the mountains around Denver, which run 14,000 feet or thereabouts, but to me, it sounds like jailbait.

Posted at 4:15 PM to Net Proceeds