The Denver Nuggets are still fighting against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, but the team is doing it without backup center Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Birdman is currently being investigated by the Internet Crimes Against Children unit and has been excused indefinitely from all team activities.
The Denver Post reports that authorities searched Andersen’s home yesterday. According to the Post, authorities seized property but it is unclear what they took.
The team said in a statement:
“The Denver Nuggets are aware of today’s media reports involving forward/center Chris Andersen. It involves a legal investigation and we are awaiting further details. Per team policy, the Nuggets will not coment on any ongoing legal circumstance involving any player or employee.”
Andersen has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
Andersen has been in the NBA for 10 years and has played 7 of those seasons with the Nuggets.
Nuggets coach George Karl said:
“For me right now, I think I’m at a stage where I don’t know enough information…. The only thing I will say is I trust Chris. In my years with him, he’s been fantastic. I think he’s really grown as a person. We’re going to support him and stand by him.”
The focus of the investigating isn’t exactly clear but the Chicago Suntimes notes that the Internet Crimes Against Children investigates child porn, Internet luring, child predators and child pornography.
The Denver Nuggets media guide states that Andersen has been involved with several charities throughout his time in Colorado. He helped raise money for Mount Saint Vincent, a home for abused children and is also involved with Alliance for Choice in Education, which helps find scholarships for low-income families.
The Suntimes notes that this isn’t the first time that Birdman’s legal troubles have affected his NBA play. In 2006, Birdman was kicked out of the league for violating the NBA’s drug policy. He returned to the NBA two years later.