Former Heat cult hero Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen looking to take flight out of Miami

Chris Andersen showing off new ink before the 2015 season. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen, one of the more colorful characters ever to wear a Miami Heat uniform, is cutting his ties to South Florida.

Andersen, who last played for the Heat in February of 2016, has put his Pinecrest home up for sale, hoping to double his money. Anderson paid $1.89 million for the five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 7,629-square foot home in 2013, after signing with the Heat. The mansion went on the market in early April for $4.55 million but already that price has been cut to $3.94 million.

The backyard of Birdman’s Pinecrest home.

The home, naturally, includes basketball court.

Andersen, though, will not be needing to cut any corners if he doesn’t get his asking price. He has made close to $39 million during his 15-year NBA career, including $3.5 million during his three years with the Heat. Andersen played in two Finals with the Heat, helping Miami win the 2013 title.

Former teammate LeBron James convinced the Cavaliers to sign Andersen, 38, to a one-year deal last summer. Andersen, though, played just 12 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in December. In February, the Cavaliers traded Andersen to the Hornets to clear a roster spot. Charlotte then waived the 6-foot-10 power forward/center, likely ending his career. Andersen averaged 5.4 points and 5.0 rebounds, while shooting 53.2 percent, in his career.

Andersen became a cult hero in Miami with his bizarre personality, Mohawk hair style and nearly head-to-toe tattoos. He attended a Heat-Cavaliers game at AmericanAirlines Arena in April and and received a standing ovation. Cleveland’s Richard Jefferson then walked over to slap hands with Andersen, who was sitting front row on the baseline.

The entrance to Birdman’s Pinecrest home

Andersen is used to the competition on the court, but now is competing with at least two other former NBA stars in a different way. Homes owned by Penny Hardaway and Lamar Odom also are on the market in the Pinecrest community, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Hardaway, who played in 16 games for the Heat in 2007-08, listed his 8,639-square-foot home for $3.799 million. Odom, who played for the Heat in 2003-04, put his 8,600-square-foot home on the market for $5.2 million.

The area is home to Heat players Tyler Johnson and James Johnson, who fast became friends after James Johnson joined the Heat last summer. They then started sharing rides to and from AmericanAirlines Arena.

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Amazing GIF of ex-Heat player Chris Andersen details his changing look over the years

Chris Andersen poses for Getty Images photographer Mike Ehrmann at the 2013 Miami Heat Media Day at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Fla., Monday, Sept., 30, 2013. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

Chris Andersen has seen it all over his 15-year NBA career.

He has played for five different franchises, served a two-year ban for a drug violation, fought phony charges and reached the game’s pinnacle as a member of the Heat’s 2013 championship team.

He has shown it all, too, with an evolving look featuring every type of hairstyle imaginable, tattoos of all shapes and colors and facial hair that sprouted from a smattering of chin hairs to a beard of lumberjack proportions.

In peak internet usage, someone captured the Birdman’s many styles in a chronological gif that is simply spellbinding.

Heat fans may barely recognize the short-haired, mostly clean shaven, just-happy-to-be-here Andersen in the beginning. Truth be told, even ardent hoopheads knew little of the first call-up in NBA D-League history. Before joining the Denver Nuggets in 2001, his basketball background included stints at Blinn College (Texas), the Chinese Basketball Association and various minor leagues.

As Andersen grew more comfortable in the NBA, he started getting more expressive.

He spiked his hair, then let it cascade down beneath a headband. Things started getting wild in Denver — as they’re wont to do — in his second tour of duty. That’s where his trademark mohawk surfaced, along with tattoos that crawled up his arms like ivy, first filling his shoulders and eventually reaching his neck and ear lobes.

His beard became its own entity in Miami, completing his eclectic look.

(Image via, with a hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie and

Maybe the most interesting part of this image is his changing expressions. His early smiles are understandable given his highly unlikely path to success. The swagger that follows makes sense, too, since he was a fan favorite at seemingly every stop.

But why the late-career scowl? He filled an important role on back-to-back Finals teams, averaging 17.7 minutes a night over his first two seasons with the Heat. That’s something to smile about, right? Well, maybe not if you’re an interior enforcer.

Andersen spent three-plus seasons with Miami. He suffered a torn ACL in December while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was waived by the Charlotte Hornets the same day they acquired him last month.

Miami Heat happy for Derrick Williams after his impressive debut with the Cavaliers

Cavaliers forward Derrick Williams scored 12 points in his Cleveland debut, a loss Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Cavaliers forward Derrick Williams scored 12 points in his Cleveland debut, a loss Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NEW YORK – Derrick Williams played just more than 15 minutes and scored five points in his last 12 games with the Miami Heat.

On Thursday, three days after he was released by the Heat, Williams signed a 10-day contract with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and later that night he scored 12 points as the first man off the bench. Williams hit all three of his shots and made 6-of-8 free throws during Cleveland’s 118-109 loss at Oklahoma City.

“This is my first day, but you can just feel the energy as soon as you step in the locker room,” Williams told reporters Thursday. “Everyone is ready to play. That’s the championship mentality everyone has here.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra texted with Williams before and after the game.

“I was happy for him,” Spoelstra said. “I sent him a congratulations after, even though they lost. It was good to see. So much of this league is about preparing yourself mentally and physical to being in top shape and then be ready for the right opportunity at the right time and hopefully this is what that is.”

Williams, who signed a $4.6 million contract with the Heat last summer, was released when Miami signed rookie Okaro White to a two-year contract. Williams played 25 games for the Heat, starting 11, and averaged 5.9 points. Williams, who appeared to have earned playing time in the preseason, quickly fell out of the rotation and did not play the first five games of the season. He had 25 games in which he did not play because of a coach’s decision.

Williams, though, praised the Heat, and President Pat Riley, upon his departure.

“He really approached the last few months in the right way and that’s why we both felt we benefited from it,” Spoelstra said. “It was great having him around. He embraced our culture work ethic got in tremendous shape. That will allow him now moving onto the next spot that he’s ready and the next part is what this league about, the right place at the right time and the right opportunity. It could be different on different teams.”

Goran Dragic, who wished Williams luck on Social Media, was happy to see his former teammate make an impact in his first game.

“Really happy,” Dragic said today. “He’s a great guy, great teammate, everybody loved him here. Unfortunately he didn’t have an opportunity here but we all know he can play. Maybe sometimes you just need to find the right fit. Judging from last night maybe he found it.”

Williams joined the Cavs a couple of weeks after LeBron James called out ownership to get him more help on the court. And although he did not mention the Warriors, the plea was a message that the Cavs need more to compete with the team they have met in the Finals the last two years.

James has been instrumental in Cleveland sprinkling former Heat players into its roster. He was joined by James Jones and Mike Miller the year he rejoined the Cavs and the team brought in Chris Andersen this year. Andersen played just 12 games this season and is done for the year after tearing his ACL.

Mario Chalmers, the Heat point guard during the Big Three era, recently had a try out in Cleveland. He has not been signed.

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Chris Andersen discloses new nickname, love for Miami following trade from Heat

Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen (11) during Miami Heat media day at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on September 28, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen (11) during Miami Heat media day at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on September 28, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)


That’s what he calls himself now. “There’s three Z’s. You got it?” He’s adamant about that.

The basketball player formerly known as Chris Andersen, Birdman, Bird and Birdzilla — along with several other monikers not fit for print — was traded by the Miami Heat to the Memphis Grizzlies in a cost-cutting move two weeks ago.

While he was an important contributor to a title-winning Heat team, the people of Miami will likely remember him more for the fun and energy he brought to the franchise both on and off the court. The hair, tattoos, nicknames, high-flying dunks and emphatic blocks made this man one of the most endearing players the team has ever had.

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Chris Andersen talks asteroids

And that love is reciprocated.

“Miami’s always gonna be in my heart, man,” Andersen said by phone this week. “The whole situation of me coming into Miami during one of the worst times of my life and the way they embraced me down there and welcomed me with open arms, they just made me feel wanted and made me feel like I was a part of their culture and their city. Winning a championship down there and being a part of that, it’s priceless. I will never forget that.

“All I can say is thank you. Thank you for all the good times and all the support. The greatest thank you I could give to them was helping their team win a championship. It was a great time. I wish it would’ve been longer, but it is what it is. I’ll always be down in Miami.”

Birdman’s extensive interview will be released in print this weekend, but you can get a sneak peak at the full story now.

Luol Deng back for Heat vs. Chicago Bulls, Hassan Whiteside out

Luol Deng expects to start tonight against the Chicago Bulls. (Getty Images)
Luol Deng expects to start tonight against the Chicago Bulls. (Getty Images)

The Heat are getting their roster back, starting with the return of Luol Deng and back-up point guard Beno Udrih. Both intend to play tonight when Miami visits the Bulls.
Continue reading “Luol Deng back for Heat vs. Chicago Bulls, Hassan Whiteside out”

What are Heat doing with Chris Andersen, Amar’e Stoudemire?

Chris Andersen has played in three of Miami's 31 games. (Getty Images)
Chris Andersen has played in three of Miami’s 31 games. (Getty Images)

One of the more puzzling situations with the Heat is coach Erik Spoelstra’s plan for Amar’e Stoudemire and Chris Andersen.

Both are in the twilight of their careers, but still have something to offer. Stoudemire has been decent offensively in spot appearances, and Andersen is coming off a productive season in which he averaged 10.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes.
Continue reading “What are Heat doing with Chris Andersen, Amar’e Stoudemire?”