Anderson's legal troubles began when he agreed to broker a drug deal between Blackmon and Hill. When investigators, acting on a tip from an informant, tailed Hill from Houston to Atlanta, they spotted him sitting in Anderson's Georgia Dome seats during the first-round playoff series between the Hawks and the Charlotte Hornets. Then they followed Hill to Biloxi, Miss., where they stopped him and Porter as the two men were traveling in Porter's truck. They discovered approximately one kilogram of cocaine in the truck's engine compartment. In subsequent conversations Hill and Porter told the agents they had picked up the cocaine at Blackmon's home in Houston and were to share the profits with Blackmon after they had sold the drugs. Hill said Anderson received $1,000 for his part in this deal.
Hill agreed to cooperate with the FBI, allowing agents to monitor several calls he made to Anderson. In a May 18 call Hill told Anderson he had $26,000 in cash and still had some of the cocaine left. He encouraged Anderson to come to Biloxi to pick up Blackmon's share of their profits. On May 20, Anderson flew to Biloxi, where Hill picked him up at the airport and drove to the Grand Casino Bayview Hotel. The two men went to room 870, where Hill gave Anderson the $26,000 and showed him three ounces of cocaine. A few minutes later an undercover FBI agent came to the room and purchased the three ounces while Anderson watched. As the undercover agent left the room, six other agents swept in and detained Anderson.
Now it was Anderson's turn to help the FBI snare Blackmon, 30, whom he had known since high school. "We were friends—until this," Blackmon says. "He did me wrong."
Anderson helped set up the meeting that led to Blackmon's arrest. He asked Blackmon to meet him at a popular Houston hangout, Joe's Crab Shack, near the Astrodome. At Joe's the FBI listened in as Anderson and Blackmon discussed future drug deals. When Blackmon walked out of the restaurant, three vehicles full of FBI SWAT team members—wielding MP5 submachine guns—swooped in and surrounded him in the parking lot. Blackmon told agents that he was not a drug dealer but a part owner of a local recording company—he reached into his car and got a compact disc that bore his name as co-owner of Inmate Records. The name of the group: 20-2-Life. "That's appropriate," a member of the SWAT team said, "since that's what you're going to get." (In truth, if convicted, Blackmon faces a maximum sentence of 25 years)
According to friends, as Anderson awaits trial he is spending most of his time in Houston, doing the things he usually does in the off-season-playing in pro-am leagues and in pickup games at his old high school, and thinking about where he will be playing next season.
Anderson may be thinking about something else as well—about the days when that 10-speed bike may have been all he had but was also all he had to worry about.