Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen under investigation by Internet child pornography unit

On Thursday night, the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 to tie their first-round playoff series, and did so without Chris "Birdman" Andersen, who is dealing with an issue greater than basketball.

Thursday afternoon, Douglas County sheriff's deputies entered and searched Andersen's home in an investigation related to their Internet Crimes Against Children unit. The Nuggets, in turn, have excused Andersen indefinitely from all team functions. P. Solomon Banda of the Associated Press has more details:

Sheriff's spokesman Ron Hanavan confirmed that the search took place Thursday. Andersen has not been arrested and Hanavan said no arrest warrant has been issued.

The department began investigating Andersen in February after receiving information from a law enforcement agency in California. Hanavan declined to release details, including the nature of any pending charges, citing an ongoing investigation. He said they're asking that the case be sealed.

Andersen answered the door at his Larkspur, Colo., home, about 40 miles south of Denver, and let deputies in, said Deborah Sherman, another sheriff's spokesperson. ''He did cooperate. He spoke with deputies,'' Sherman said.

The unit investigating Andersen investigates child porn, Internet luring, child predators and child pornography.

The sheriff's department stated that they have taken computer hardware from Andersen's home, but they didn't specify exactly what was taken. Obviously, not much is yet known about the investigation or exactly what Andersen may have done wrong. Without an arrest or specific charges, it's best not to speculate too much.

The Nuggets will not necessarily miss Andersen on the court — he had yet to play a minute in the Lakers series and has seen his role diminished as JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos have earned more minutes in Denver's big-man rotation. Nevertheless, this incident could be a distraction for the entire franchise.

Andersen has been a controversial figure before and was suspended from the NBA for two seasons due to several failed drug tests for unspecified "drugs of abuse," but this investigation is an entirely different kind of serious. We'll continue to update you as more details emerge, but for now we're going to look at what's known and not draw too many conclusions in either direction.

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