The Miami Heat and Pat Riley have made their first offseason move: Chris "Birdman" Andersen will be back next season. After winning two consecutive NBA championships, the Heat front office think the tenacity of Andersen is exactly what they need if they want a chance at a three-peat.
Heat president Pat Riley told the media:
"We are ecstatic that Chris Andersen has decided to stay with the Heat. We would not have won the championship without him and we are looking forward to him having an even better season next year."
Birdman may have been overshadowed by the Big 3 during the regular season, but provided a much-needed physical presence under the basket on the Heat's playoff run last season. Everything from the peacock mohawk to the crazy tattoos, Andersen belongs in Miami.
In an interview with USA Today Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade called Birdman a "rock star" and went on to say: "everyone in Miami is crazed over Birdman. He comes in with so much energy."
In the 2013 playoffs Chris "Birdman" Andersen contributed on offense and defense, rebounding as well as dunking missed jump shots.
Birdman's one-year, $1.7 million contract [also with player-option year] puts the Heat at $88 million payroll going into the 2013-2014 season.
With the exception of Juwan Howard, it looks like Pat Riley is bringing back the entire Heat team to compete for the three-peat. Will they end up using their amnesty to cut Mike Miller or Joel Anthony?