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Dan Barto: The Birdman Can Help

2/19/2008

With the trade deadline approaching, lots of teams are looking around and wondering if they might be able to get better.  

Dan Barto is a trainer who tells of working with Chris Andersen, who has been fighting his way through the process of getting reinstated after a drug-related suspension.

Barto trained Andersen for close to three weeks. Here is some of what Barto learned:

1) He is a joy to be around 100% of the time

2) He will work until exhaustion

3) He is professional and attentive

4) The dude can shoot, I repeat: the dude can shoot.

We laughed and worked and laughed harder. Chris interacted with everyone whose path he crossed from the janitors to the rebounders to the MLS stars who spoke no English. An absolute animal in the weight room and a soft rim's worst nightmare, Bird never wanted to leave the court. There were days he would stay and work out with the high school group at the end of the day.

I am not rooting for Bird because I want him to buck the trend of the list above. I am rooting for the Birdman because he has a great soul and a big heart. He was not an enabled showboat like many of the names above. He took the long road. When he got to a fork in the road of his career he stopped and took a couple hits, now it is full steam ahead into helping a team make a deep playoff run.

Barto gives reasons Andersen would fit nicely in New Orleans, Cleveland, Miami, Dallas, or Denver.