The Birdman will be a free agent as soon as his Denver Nuggets finish, in victory or defeat, their NBA playoff push. Should the Thunder make a play for Chris Andersen?
The Birdman, the 6-foot-10 flying cartoon character of a basketball player, was a Ford Center fan favorite for the first couple of months of the Hornets’ two-year stay in Oklahoma City, before the NBA banned him for drug use. His spiked hair and wild tattoos belie the truth, that the Birdman, when healthy, is one heck of a ballplayer. The Birdman is just what the Thunder needs, an interior defensive presence. Despite making just one start and averaging just 20.6 minutes per game, the Birdman placed second in the league in blocked shots, his 2.5 per game trailing only Dwight Howard’s 2.9. Andersen is the new Dennis Rodman. The young Dennis Rodman. Rodman eventually became a kook and more trouble than he was worth, but the early Rodman was a wonderful, unique player. Rodman averaged 9.0 and 8.8 points and 9.4 and 9.7 rebounds in Detroit’s two championship years, 1988-89 and 1989-90.
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Cheers & Jeers: Ada Native having good season
→To Ada’s Nick Blackburn, who at the age of 27 is turning into quite the pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. Blackburn is 4-2 with a 3.55 earned run average this season after going 11-11 in 2008. →To the return of the Women’s College World Series, always one of the highlights of the Oklahoma sports calendar. Jeers
→To college football coaches again making their final poll ballots private. If the coaches can’t stand the heat, get out of the voting business. →To OSU baseball’s invitation to the NCAA Tournament. A team that finishes 9-16 in its conference did not earn a trip to the 64-team field.