--Center Chris Andersen, who has been excused from the team while he is being investigated for Internet crimes against children, might be an extortion victim, his lawyer told the Denver Post on Friday.
Colin Bresee, who represents Andersen, released a statement to the newspaper saying that Andersen is being extorted by a California woman.
"A female fan in 2010 mailed Mr. Andersen multiple letters and included several photos in which she was scantily clad," the statement read. "Chris and this woman communicated with each other and in 2011, this woman, who represented herself as 21 years of age, flew to Colorado, showing her required identification. After leaving Colorado, she became upset at his lack of interest. In 2012, she threatened to retaliate if he did not provide financial remuneration."
Bresee also said in the statement that someone claiming to be the woman's mother wrote in an e-mail that, "i want him to pay for everything on her Amazon wish list, 5K for her bedding stuff and her Victoria Secret wish list."
Andersen's home in Larkspur, Colo., was searched by Douglas County investigators on Thursday and some items were seized. Andersen, 33, has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
Bresee said that Andersen has fully cooperated with the investigation, which should take another three weeks.
A statement by the team read that Andersen has been "excused from all team-related activities indefinitely as he deals with the reported investigation."
So Andersen was not with the Nuggets for their 113-96 Game 6 win Thursday over the Lakers. And he's not expected to be with them for Saturday's Game 7 in Los Angeles.
Andersen has not played in the series and has not seen any action at all since March 25. He averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds during the regular season.
The unit involved with Andersen investigates Internet luring, child predators and child pornography. Items were removed from Andersen's home, but no information was provided on what exactly they were.
"I'm in a stage where I don't know enough information and we're advised probably not to talk about it until we know the information," said Nuggets coach George Karl. "But the one thing I will say is I trust Chris. My years with him, he's been fantastic and he's really grown as a person. We're going to support him and stand by him. I talked to (Andersen on Thursday) for about five to 10 minutes. ... He was emotional."
--Nuggets center JaVale McGee is earning plenty of praise for his play in a West first-round series against the Lakers.
"He's really blossoming in this series," said Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. "He seems to be coming into his own. He's showing a lot of versatility and skill around the basket. Defensively as well, he's changing shots."
McGee is averaging 9.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in the first six games of the series. He actually struggled in Thursday's Game 6, totaling two points, five rebounds and a block, but it didn't matter since the Nuggets won 113-96 to tie the series 3-3.
The 7-foot McGee is in his fourth season and is appearing in his first playoff series. He's never had games more memorable than Game 3, when he had 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, and Game 5, when he had 21 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.
"I don't think I've ever coached a guy like this," said Nuggets coach George Karl, hired as an NBA head coach for the first time in 1984. "He has the kind of moves of a 6-6 player. The guy he kind of reminds me of a little bit is Connie Hawkins. There's this long, unfolding one-handed stuff. He's got a long way to go to become Connie Hawkins."
QUOTE TO NOTE
"You lose, you go home. We've got to go out and play strong with no letups." -- Nuggets guard Ty Lawson, whose team faces the Lakers on Saturday in Game 7 of a West first-round series.
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