Denver Extends a Nugget the Size of a Bird

James WilliamsonSenior Writer IJuly 8, 2009


That was my reaction when I turned on my computer, went to, and checked the sports section.

Chris Andersen, the forward/center reserve for the Denver Nuggets, was resigned to a five year deal that could earn him up to $26 million. He is set to earn $3.65 million this year which is a definite improvement from his $998,398 salary from last year.

So, technically, in his next year, $3.65 million for one year, he's earning $10,000 per day.

Andersen's attorney, Mark Bryant, confirmed all this and the deal is set to be officially signed later today.

I just recently became a fan of basketball and immediately I became a hardcore fan of the one, the only, Chris Andersen, AKA Birdman.

He was the player that I like to compare myself with because I play basketball at the YMCA and I'm not the best shooter, but I'm good at everything else. I can pass, I can see openings, dribble, block shots, and fire up a crowd with my defensive pursuit.

Sound like a certain player in Denver?

To the simple minds of the average fan, if you don't score 10 or more points in a game, you are basically a waste of space, but Chris Andersen has gone against the wind and beaten it.

He's had trouble with substances in the past, but has gotten control of it in order to prove himself worthy in the NBA.

He is a role model to anyone because he is not a great shooter. I don't know his exact statistics, but I think it is a safe bet to say the majority of his points come from dunks.

He is a guy who has had to be better than nearly everybody else at almost everything else in order to be seen as a threat.

Yet, he proved every doubter wrong. He made every single critic eat their rat (I would say crow, but he's the Birdman).

He's easily one of the most interesting characters in the NBA because how many guys are willing to tattoo their body in order to fit a nickname they have?

When you think of Birdman, you think of those wings tattooed over his arms, you think of him waving his arms around, firing up the crowd after he dunks the ball, or his incredibly spiky hair that he brushes his hand through after using his wing to bat the ball away from basket.

If I had a chance to interview him, my first question would be: "Chris, how much of your base salary goes into buying hair gel?"

He was a key player to the Nuggets organization because when he fires up the crowd at Denver, the team has a significant advantage over teams who play them there. His blocking of shots shreds the other team of their momentum while building momentum for the Nuggets.

He averaged 2.46 blocks per game and he only played 20.56 minutes per game!

The only guy ahead of him was Dwight Howard, the Defensive Player of the Year, and he averaged 2.92 blocks per game in 35.71 minutes per game. So, Howard got .46 blocks per game more than Andersen in 15.15 minutes more!

I'm not downgrading Howard though, I'm just giving more credit to Chris Andersen which he rightfully deserves.

Now that he has a contract, Denver fans should hope he keeps his fire going since some players lose the desire after getting a big payday because they have achieved the contract goal.

I have faith though. I think Chris Andersen is going to be a beast to tangle with next year and hopefully the Nuggets can go farther this next year then they did last year.

So, rejoice Denver fans, you got a great player staying in Denver.