UPDATE: 4:39 pm: Andersen has been released from his duties with the team at this time and will not be at Game 6 against the Lakers, the Nuggets announced in a team 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. Chris has been excused from all team-related activities indefinitely as he deals with the reported investigation. Per team policy, the Nuggets will not comment on any ongoing legal circumstance involving any player or employee.”
3:33 pm: The Denver area home of Nuggets big man Chris Andersen has been searched as part of an “Internet crimes against children” investigation, according to the Denver Post, Other sources have confirmed this to be about child pornography and Andersen was the target of the investigation.
Andersen, 33, has not been arrested, though deputies have seized property from his home this morning.
“The Sheriff’s Office did contact him this morning while he was at his house and he cooperated fully,” said spokeswoman Deborah Sherman.
There are not a lot of details and the search warrant itself was sealed by the judge who issued it. However, a Denver area television station is reporting that after a tip from California law enforcement Andersen had been under investigation for child pornography crimes for several months.
Andersen took part in the team’s morning shootaround Thursday as they prepare to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 Thursday night. The Lakers lead the series 3-2 but could be without Kobe Bryant for Game 6. Andersen has not played in this series.
Child pornography and sexual abuse are some of the most horrific crimes I can think of, and as a father they make my blood boil. That said, we do not know a lot here, certainly not enough yet to throw around blanket accusations. As the Post notes.
Proving who used the computer or computers in question is frequently a tricky part of Internet crime cases. Property records show at least one other person lives at the Larkspur home.
Andersen was suspended from the NBA for two seasons starting in January 2006 after failing multiple drug tests (for what the league called “drugs of abuse” not performance enhancing). He applied and was reinstated to the NBA in 2008 and has not failed a drug test since. In the community he had worked with and helped raise money for a couple of charities that helped abused children and that helped children get an education.
Andersen has two years, $9.3 million left on his contract. That could be voided if the charges pan out as this would certainly violate morality clauses in his contract. The Timberwolves and a number of teams had targeted Andersen for potential trades this summer.