Though polite and maternalistic -- "Can I get you some tea?" she often asks -- her charmingly rough edges and tough-girl disposition served her well amongst the double crossers and miscreants that tend to populate a hardscrabble life.Chris "The Birdman" Andersen is back with the New Orleans Hornets after serving a two-year ban for violating the league's anti-drug policy. A life in which she wouldn't have to push a janitor's broom or tend bar, which one of her Harley buddies owned.Normally, this would be a happy time for his family. Chris Andersen was going to buy his mother a house. If he just helped her pay for her meds, that would be enough. Linda Holubec was there that November night in 2001, when the Denver Nuggets called her son with the news that they were signing him to a deal that would end his vagabond lifestyle.
The rowdy, shoulder-length blond locks cover his face, Cousin Itt-style."Whassup, pimp?Linda Ogle was raised in the shadow of the mist in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tenn., by parents who were also Harley Davidson-riding free spirits -- Jack, a carpenter, and Kate, a waitress at a local diner.When she was 8, her father put her behind the wheel of his '54 Chevy and taught her to navigate winding mountain roads. When the carpentering dried up, Linda's father enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to a base in Long Beach, Calif.That an NBA paycheck was like nitroglycerin in his pocket. Shooting 47 percent from the line, this was a daily drill Andersen couldn't afford to miss.general manager Jeff Bower had sat through practice that day.She may have raised him to raise hell, but she also taught him to say when. He came down out of the stands and motioned for Scott, then whispered in his ear.