Chris Andersen: "It's Time For The Birdman To Fly"

Brennan NettContributor IJuly 16, 2009

DENVER - MAY 25:  Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets looks on against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 25, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. 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 Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

July 8, 2009, could be one of the happiest days of Chris Birdman Andersen's young life, he was resigned by the Denver Nuggets to a five-year deal that could worth as much as $26 million dollars.  The high-flying Birdman just completed one of his best seasons of his NBA career.  Finishing second in blocks with 175, finishing behind Orlando's Dwight Howard, who amassed 231 blocks. 

The 6'10'' 228 pound power foward was born on July 7, 1978 in Long Beach, California.  He attended Iola High School in Iola, Texas.  After graduation he attended Blinn College, playing one season, and then going undrafted in the 1999 NBA Draft.  He began his professional career in the Chinese Basketball League for the Jiangsu Nangang.  He then played two seasons in the D-League before playing for the Denver Nuggets from 2001-2004, the New Orleans Hornets from 2004-2006, and then again with the Denver Nuggets in the 2008-2009 season.

On January 25, 2006, he served a two year league suspension for the violation of the league's anti-drug policy.  Andersen attempted to appeal the suspension through arbitration, but was denied in March of 2006.  On March 25, 2008 his professional career resumed playing for the New Orleans Hornets, after his March 4th reinstatement by the NBA Players Association. 

After the conclusion of the 2007-2008 season with the Hornets, he became a free agent, signing a one-year contract with the Denver Nuggets.  Playing only 20.5 minutes per game, he compiled 175 blocks or 2.42 blocks per game.  

His career averages are averaging 5.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.3 minutes per game.  He has appeared in 329 games, nine of which have been starts.  

The Birdman could be seen as a role model for his return to the NBA after his recent drug suspension because it shows that hardwork and determination can lead to the completion of a goal.  His goal obviously being the return to "Fly" again in the NBA.