Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen ignored investigators who ultimately cleared him of child pornography charges – to focus on NBA playoffs


I’ve heard players brag about the sacrifices they made to win an NBA championship, including putting family aside to focus on the team goal. While that sounds noble the way it’s often presented, take a step back and think about it.

Neglecting your family to complete a business project?

We glorify NBA titles to such a degree, that actually makes sense to a lot of people.

I’m not sure that level of hyper-focus on basketball is necessary, but it might be when so many other players are making those choices. Many players would prefer not to even risk distractions – under any circumstances.

Take Chris Andersen, who signed with the Heat during their championship run last season.

He’d been accused of child pornography a couple years ago, and though he knew the truth would – or at least should – clear him, not everyone had access to that information at the time. The Nuggets even amnestied him. Andersen began the season without an NBA contract.

Meanwhile, Shawn Cronce and Gord Olson were investigating the case – an investigation that continued through the 2013 playoffs.

Flinder Boyd of Newsweek:

Then, as the playoffs started, Andersen got the call he feared would never come.

It was Cronce, offering to explain for the first time some of what she and Olson had learned and asking for his cooperation. This was the moment Andersen had been praying for over eight agonizing months. But he also knew that any public revelations, even one that exonerated him, would distract his team on their quest for a title, so he did something almost unthinkable: He ignored Cronce.

His play in the playoffs was remarkable. At one point he played six straight games without missing a shot and set an NBA playoff record for field goal percentage. In late June, when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, they had their title. Andersen, a pariah a few short months before, stood at half-court with LeBron James as confetti rained down on him. He was a champion.

While his teammates went out to celebrate that night, Andersen immediately returned home with his fiancée. He sat down in his living room in a subdued state, according to Bryant, silently sipping a cup of sweet tea.

That is a remarkable amount of sacrifice in the name of winning a championship. I can’t say whether or not Andersen’s choice was correct for him, but I can’t imagine being falsely accused of possessing child pornography and then putting work ahead of getting my name cleared.

For Andersen, it all worked out. The Heat won the title in the summer, and Andersen was cleared in the fall.

But I just can’t over how incredible his choice was.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.