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The Birdman takes flight again

By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer, Published: April 15, 2011


On a team of flamboyant players, no Nugget is more flashy than Birdman.

Thing is, he might also be the most predictable.

You know what you're getting with Chris Andersen. Yes, he's got that gel-hardened mohawked hair. Yes, he's got the neck-to-toe tattoos. Yes, he does the wacky hand signals after he dunks.

But since his return from a two-year suspension or violating the NBA's substance-abuse policy, he's been as steady as they come.

The suspension?

Yeah, that was a bad time for Birdman. He was actually with the Hornets playing in Oklahoma City then. He has never said what drug cost him two years of his career, but the drinking, partying ways he had then have been well-documented.

He went through rehab, getting his life and his career back on track.

Now, Andersen is the most important guy off the bench for the Nuggets. Even though his averages are only so-so — 5.6 points and 4.9 rebounds a game this season — the Nuggets depend on him to bring some energy and raise their level whenever he enters the game.

Birdman always soars.