Chris Andersen: The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IApril 6, 2009

DENVER - MARCH 05:  Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets blocks a shot by LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the Portland Trail Blazers during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on March 5, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Trail Blazers 106-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Mostly recognized as the guy who got a two year suspension from the NBA for "drugs of abuse," Chris Andersen's wings are starting to grow back.

From dropping out of University of Houston to going undrafted in the 1999 NBA draft to having an atrocious, dismal performance in the Slam Dunk competition in 2005, Chris Andersen has finally come into what he was meant to do—be an energetic, defensive stopper.

Throughout his tenure in the NBA people singled him out saying he was no good, or a white guy trying to act like a black guy, a wannabe.

Not everyone though said this, Andersen has been a fan favourite in Denver and in New Orleans/Oklahoma. Those people probably thought they were right when Anderson was expelled from the league for two years.

They promptly had those words shoved down their throat like seen in this video.

Chris Andersen made a comeback with the Denver Nuggets who were looking for somebody to help replace the loss of Camby who was traded to the Clippers for virtually nothing. He has proven to be an a defensive force in the paint.

Camby, at 6'11" had a much larger wingspan and had the ability to block those shots. Anderson at 6'10" has a much smaller wingspan and averages more blocks than Camby at only 19 minutes a game! Talk about thirsty for a rejection.

If you take a look at Camby's game though, he does not always go for the swat but only puts a hand up in the face to alter the shot. Players get intimidated by his large presence, but know that he will try tricking them by just putting a hand up.

Anderson, on the other hand, is leaping up and down non-stop going for the ball every time it is in the air. Players know that Andersen will go for the block at all costs that he can get with his great leaping ability and hang time has opponents fearful of a ball smashed down their throat and out the other end. He has a best 5.5 blocks Per 48 minutes.

The Nuggets got a younger, more athletic version of Camby in Andersen who's contract  is much cheaper than Camby's, which was the reason behind trading him.

Anderson has proven to be a warrior, a man—wait, sorry a Birdman—hungry to swat a ball down somebodies throat. He will be a key player in Denver's championship/playoff run.

Chris Andersen as the Birdman.