Feisty ‘Birdman’ would be a good fit with the Bulls
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com June 10, 2013 9:31PM
Would you like to see the Bulls get Chris "Birdman" Andersen?
Series tied 1-1
All games on Ch. 7/1000-AM
G1: Spurs 92, at Heat 88
G2: at Heat 103, Spurs 84
G3: Tuesday at Spurs, 8 p.m.
G4: Thursday at Spurs, 8 p.m.
G5: Sunday at Spurs, 7 p.m.
*G6: June 18 at Heat, 8 p.m.
*G7: June 20 at Heat, 8 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2013 9:19PM
MIAMI — Hog hunting isn’t exactly high on Chris Andersen’s priority list these days. Maybe later in the summer, when he returns to the deep woods of Texas, but not now.
Neither is adding another tattoo or his pending free agency after the NBA Finals.
The Birdman is unbending on where his focus lies.
“First and foremost, the main task is winning this championship,’’ Andersen said.
So he really isn’t thinking about the possibility of joining the Bulls in the offseason. But if the Bulls were smart, they would be thinking about him.
The mohawk, the inked-up body, the baggage, all of it, a perfect marriage for a team that needs to start focusing on getting past the Indiana Pacers before worrying about running down the three-time Eastern Conference-champion Miami Heat.
The Bulls’ front line needs more physicality, but they have limited funds to spend. Having Andersen back up Joakim Noah — thus allowing Taj Gibson to focus on being a power forward — couldn’t be a better fit.
At some point, Andersen will sit down and think about his future. Perhaps after he’s drenched in champagne.
“That would be the wrong mind-set if anyone was thinking that way coming into the NBA Finals,’’ Andersen said of thinking about his next destination. “Once it’s all over with, then I’ll sit down and think about all that, but it’s about playing these games like they’re your last.
“This is definitely a big stage to be out here playing on, showing what you can do, but first and foremost is the task at hand. I’ll have time to sit down and think about next year.’’
That big stage that Andersen was talking about? He’s not shied away from it at all.
After averaging just 4.9 point and 4.1 rebounds in the regular season, Birdman’s wings opened up in the playoffs.
Playing just over 15 minutes a game, Andersen has averaged 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, while shooting 44-for-54 (81.5 per cent) from the field. That’s efficiency. More importantly, he has been the Heat’s enforcer. That included a Game 6 suspension in the Pacers series after he shoved Tyler Hansbrough.
The Bulls enforcer in the postseason? Nazr Mohammed.
“Instant energy, [Anderson has] got everyone’s back, he’s a team player, and he works hard,’’ Heat reserve Norris Cole said. “That’s all you can ask for from a guy.’’
But that’s not all Andersen brings. Chicago is in need of a cult hero on the sports scene. One look around the American Airlines Arena can spot handfuls of fans — mostly children — with Birdman mohawks and painted-on tattoos.
“I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing,’’ Andersen said of the flock. “I mean kids dressed up as you, going out for Halloween as you. I’m a glass half-full kind of guy. I would like to think it’s a good thing.’’
Oh, it’s definitely a good thing, and one the Bulls need to pursue.