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A few years ago, Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s life in Denver was going swimmingly. The big man was a key reserve for the up-and-coming Nuggets and without question one of the most popular members of the team. Then, about fifteen months ago, his entire life went south. Police unexpectedly raided his home and word leaked to the media that they were investigating crimes related to shadiness with an underage girl. After a lengthy investigation, however, the police department concluded this week that Anderson didn’t actually do anything wrong and was instead the victim in a complicated Catfish scheme.
According to ESPN, a Canadian woman named Shelly Lynn Chartier engineered the scheme in which she spoke to a girl from California posing as Andersen and spoke to Andersen posing as the same girl from California. By controlling both ends of the conversation, she reportedly got the two parties very invested in the fake relationship. She then convinced the girl from California to fly to Denver to meet with Birdman and afterwards tried to extort Andersen by telling him for the first time that the girl was under eighteen at the beginning of their non-relationship.
During a meeting between the police department and Andersen earlier this week, the entire sick scenario was reportedly spelled out for the first time, and the player was apparently very thankful for all the hard work officers put into figuring out what the hell happened. He obviously wasn’t too pleased when his home was initially raided and his entire life was upended, but he’s worked really hard to put the pieces back together.
Last summer, Andersen was released by the Nuggets. Because of his legal troubles, no teams came forward to offer him a contract. Eventually, the Heat offered him a ten day tryout part of the way through the season, and Birdman took the opportunity and ran with it. He quickly secured a deal for the rest of the year and was eventually a key contributor during the Heat’s run to the NBA title.
There are few things worse than being accused of doing something you didn’t do. Hopefully, Andersen can put this sordid affair behind him and continue to play great basketball.