There will never be another Birdman in Miami, and there will never be another fan base that means as much to Chris Andersen as this one did.
Andersen has enjoyed popularity across the N.B.A., but the seasons he spent with the Heat were a resurgence. He was out of the league and mired in a scandal when the team signed him in January 2013 as reinforcement for a championship run, and he was an instant hit.
The hair, tattoos, nicknames, high-flying dunks and emphatic blocks made Andersen one of the team’s most popular players. And that love is reciprocated.
“Miami’s always going to be in my heart, man,” Andersen said by phone this week. “The whole situation of me coming into Miami during one of the worst times of my life and the way they embraced me down there and welcomed me with open arms, they just made me feel wanted and made me feel like I was a part of their…