Orlando Sentinel
National Basketball Association
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                        === Heat bring back Birdman ===
 
 Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Miami Heat announced the re-signing of center
 Chris  Andersen to  a one-year contract on Wednesday, ensuring the entire core
 group of last season's NBA championship squad will return intact for 2013-14.
 
 Andersen  helped fill  the Heat's  glaring need  for capable  frontcourt depth
 after joining the team on January 20. The colorful veteran averaged 4.9 points
 and  4.1 rebounds  while shooting 57.7 percent from the field over 42 regular-
 season games.
 
 He  was also effective in the playoffs, averaging 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and
 1.1  blocks in  20 postseason contests to help Miami to its second consecutive
 league  title.  Andersen was a perfect  15-of-15 from the field over the first
 five  games of  the Heat's  Eastern Conference  Finals series  against Indiana
 before  being  suspended for  Game 6  after committing a  flagrant foul on the
 Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough.
 
 "We are ecstatic that Chris Andersen has decided to stay with the Miami Heat,"
 said  team president  Pat  Riley. ""We  would not  have  won the  championship
 without  him, and  we are looking forward  to him having an even better season
 next year."
 
 Andersen will be entering his 12th NBA season and has averaged 5.4 points, 5.1
 rebounds  and  1.6 blocks over 524  career games with Denver (2001-04, 08-12),
 the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2004-06, 08) and Miami. The 35-year-old
 was  suspended from  January 2006-March  2008  for violating  the NBA's  anti-
 drug policy.
 
 "I'm  excited to be  back with the Heat," said Andersen. "I believe we have an
 opportunity to repeat and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
 
 Andersen  becomes the third  key member of last season's team to remain on the
 roster.  Sixth man Ray Allen exercised a player option on his deal last month,
 while  the  Heat picked up  the option on  starting point guard Mario Chalmers
 contract.
 
 
 
 
 
 07/10 15:35:25 ET