Chris Andersen: Our Experiances Shape Who We Are; The Story of Birdman

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

DENVER - MAY 29:  Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets looks on against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 29, 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)

Had to write this as a practise for my English 10 Provincial (equivalent to a final exam, except given out by the government and is with 20 percent of our final grade).

Topic: Our experiences shape who we are

Most of us have heard that same lulling line millions of times through out our life. Maybe said in a different way like "If you don't experience this, you will never know how it feels." I know I have heard this as my mom nags me that if you don't experience fruits and vegetables, you will never get a chance to like them.

Weather the person is a story book character, like Simba, or a person that you know really well in real life, that same line applies to every single human being. Without going through experiences, your outlook on the projected subject will never change.

If Simba never experienced Mufasa's death by his own uncle, he would have never had grown the will to kill.

Another example would be that a person has never experienced love. That person has undoubtedly been walking around depressed and has been sulking through out his life. If he or she actually went through real love (no I'm not talking about "love" you nasty children) their outlook on love, and life would change.

They would be more happy and energetic, and would have the will to interact more with his/her fellow peers.

It goes to show that people can change themselves without losing their personality. That is exactly what Chris "Birdman" Andersen did.

Chris Andersen, more commonly referred to as the, "Birdman" has gone through worse things then people with heart disease, and people can even argue, worse the Alonzo Mourning's kidney problems. 

His childhood was plagued with his parents going in and out of his life. His mother rode off on her Harley, while his Father tried to sell his art work around the world. He had the opportunity to pick between military school and a foster home.

"I'm thankful that I actually got the choice to pick one of the two, and I picked the children's home."

His first drink happened in his freshmen year in High school and he has looked at alcohol and drugs to solve his problems since his suspension.

After dropping out of Blinn College in Texas, Chris Andersen declared himself to partake in the 1999 NBA draft, which is annually held in the Big Apple, New York. Not going to College hurt his chance of being a highly touted prospect.

Like expected, Andersen went undrafted, and then decided to move to China to play for the minor leagues there before moving to New Mexico, and North Dakota.

Andersen had his first taste in the majors when he signed with the Denver Nuggets, which were struggling at the time.

It was his stint with Denver that got him noticed in the NBA as a fan favourite, and he eventually signed with the New Orleans Hornets, a city (New Orleans) that is based on people going out and night and getting drunk. No knock intended New Orleans-ers, the Jazz life there is great.

It was when Andersen was a Hornet, the success came flowing in. He was invited to partake in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition in 2004 and 2005 and eventually signed a $16 million contract extension with the Hornets.

His style of play was energetic and wild, and that was the same case for his night life, too. With that much money, there is a lot of drugs and alcohol you can buy.

He was experiencing he luxury life the NBA had given him. Living in a big house, owning a nice car, he had everything he could have ever imagined. Andersen's past demons quickly caught up with him.

Like a lot of teenagers, Andersen had tried some drugs, and eventually got addicted to them. He got heavily inked while he was young and that carries over to his current days.

During 2005 and 2006 Andersen lost a lot of things close to him and he went to the one thing he could do to solve his problems. Those drinks.

"I always had control over my drinking. It's just when it hit me all at once I was like What do I do? I was like I'll find the answer at the bottom of a bottle, that one didn't have the answer. Try a can, that can didn't have the answer. Solve one problem 10 more come along."

Those problems included falling out with his mother due to finances. His father and himself were not speaking as well. Then came Hurricane Katrina, destroying his home and everything that he possessed.

What hurts the most is that his fiance, Brandy Newman ended their engagement. Having all that happen to a man could possibly lower the demeanor of that person.

You can see what he means by saying "...when it all hit my at once." He was going through such hard times and he had no sense of direction. He lost his loved ones, and his home.

A man can only go through so much in his life before finally breaking. Andersen had to find a way to relive all the stress he had accumulated from his parents and the sheer destruction of his house.

No he did not go get a massage, he went back to his teenage days.

He did not just resort to alcohol, but drugs to. He was suspended on Jan. 27 of 2006 for violating the NBA's drugs of abuse policy. Drugs on those list include Cocaine, PCP, LSD, and Methamphetamine.

He has publicly stated through his agent he is not going to reveal the drugs he took. "Everybody wants to know. Don't do drugs. Why does it got to be a specific drug."

It took about three days of more alcohol for it to sink into Andersen. He responded by talking to him self about it saying, "This ain't right. What am I doing? Man you know what, I can't live like this anymore."

Andersen then spent four weeks in rehab and then moved in with his agent, and good friend Mark Bryant and his family which were located in Denver. While in Denver, Andersen passed weekly drug tests for two years.

"I wanted to be the one that said I told you so, said Andersen. I didn't want to be in the other position where they said I told you so."

He was eventually reinstated into the league nearly two years and two days after he got suspended. As a free agent, he signed with the New Orleans Hornets who were at the time, looking to make a playoff push. He ended up playing five games with the Hornets that year.

He wanted to return to the place in which he turned his life around, and he signed with the Denver Nuggets.

"We spent a day or two talking, said George Karl, head coach of the Nuggets. It was some what emotional, in him telling me his values. Now I'm not an expert on the drug situation, but I wouldn't bet on Chris Andersen.

"I have no desire to go back down that road, Andersen replied.

With the Nuggets he played in 71 one games and had the best of his pro career.

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Andersen maintained his wild personality on the court while he got rid of it off the court, and especially at night. In his two year suspension, his experience shaped himself into a totally clean person, with keeping what people like best about him.

"I wanted to come back and make a statement", said Andersen.

"What statement did you like to make", asked the ESPN reporter.

"Look at me now."


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