Christopher Claus Andersen (born July 7, 1978) is an American former professional basketball player. Nicknamed "Birdman", Andersen was born in Long Beach, California, grew up in Iola, Texas, and played one year at Blinn College. Andersen began his professional career in the Chinese Basketball Association and the American minor leagues. He then played in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Hornets. He received a two-year ban from the NBA in 2006 for violating the league's drug policy, but was reinstated on March 4, 2008, and re-signed with the Hornets the next day. He returned to Denver later in 2008, and remained with the team until 2012. He signed with the Miami Heat in January 2013 and won a championship with them that same year. He and Oliver Lafayette are the only Blinn students to ever play in the NBA. He most recently played for Power in the Big3 league.
|Born||July 7, 1978|
Long Beach, California, U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school||Iola (Iola, Texas)|
|NBA draft||1999 / undrafted|
|Position||Center / power forward|
|Number||15, 11, 1, 12, 7, 00|
|2000||New Mexico Slam|
|2004–2006, 2008||New Orleans Hornets[a]|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Andersen is the second of the three children of corrections officer and Danish immigrant Claus Andersen and Linda Holubec, a Tennessee native who worked as a waitress at the Port Hueneme naval base and played basketball in high school. In 1982, when Andersen was four, his family moved to Texas, using a loan from the Texas Veterans Land Board to purchase a 10-acre plot in unincorporated Iola, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. The Andersens then lived off the land, with Linda working in low-end jobs and relying on the help of neighbors and Linda's brother, who was a Navy supply boat captain. During Andersen's middle school years, he and his siblings were sent to a group home in Dallas for three years.
During high school, Andersen was convinced to take up basketball by the varsity basketball coach, who said the sport could give him a chance at a college scholarship. Andersen could not get the grades to attend the University of Houston, but went to Blinn College in Brenham, where the coach was the father of Andersen's high school coach. He played one season with the Blinn Buccaneers, leading the National Junior College Athletic Association players in blocks.
Jiangsu Dragons (1999–2000)Edit
Convinced that he could play professionally, Andersen dropped out of Blinn in 1999, not knowing he had to officially apply for the NBA draft to get picked up. Andersen's high school coach arranged for him to play a series of exhibition games with the semi-professional Texas Ambassadors, and a game in China led Andersen to get an offer to join the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association.
New Mexico Slam (2000)Edit
In March 2000, Andersen joined the New Mexico Slam of the International Basketball League where he averaged just 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in six regular-season games and four playoff games.
Fargo-Moorhead Beez (2000–2001)Edit
Later that year, Andersen joined the Dakota Wizards of the IBA but left before the season started. He then joined the Fargo-Moorhead Beez also of the IBA where he played seven games before being released in January 2001.
Sugarland Sharks (2001)Edit
After his stint in the IBA, Andersen joined the Sugarland Sharks of the Southwest Basketball League later on in 2001.
Fayetteville Patriots (2001)Edit
In July 2001, Andersen joined the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2001 NBA Summer League. On September 28, 2001, he signed with the Phoenix Suns. However, he was later waived by the Suns on October 7, 2001. On October 31, 2001, he was selected with the first overall pick by the Fayetteville Patriots in the NBA Development League's inaugural draft.
Denver Nuggets (2001–2004)Edit
Andersen became the first D-League player called up by an NBA team, signing with the Denver Nuggets on November 21, 2001 after just two games for Fayetteville. He quickly became one of the top per-minute rebounders and shot-blockers in the league. During the 2002 Rocky Mountain Revue, teammates Junior Harrington and Kenny Satterfield nicknamed Andersen "Birdman" for his arm span and penchant for aerial acrobatics.
On September 29, 2003, he re-signed with the Nuggets.
New Orleans Hornets (2004–2006)Edit
On July 19, 2004, Andersen signed a multi-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets. He appeared in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during the 2005 All-Star Weekend for the second year in a row, where he unsuccessfully tried the same dunk eight times at the Pepsi Center.
Following the effects of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the Hornets moved to Oklahoma City for the 2005–06 season and temporarily became the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. In 2005–06, Andersen managed just 32 games (two starts), averaging 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Expulsion and reinstatementEdit
On January 25, 2006, Andersen was disqualified from the NBA for violating the league's anti-drug policy by testing positive for a banned substance. Andersen's suspension fell under the league's category of "drugs of abuse", violation of which is possible grounds for expulsion from the NBA under the league's collective bargaining agreement. Andersen attempted to appeal the ruling through arbitration, but the arbitrator ruled to uphold his dismissal in March 2006. As Andersen waited for his reinstatement, effective January 2008, he was helped by a lawyer friend in Denver, Mark Bryant, who became his adviser. Andersen spent a month in a rehab clinic in Malibu, worked out and coached a boys' basketball team in Denver.
On March 4, 2008, the NBA Players Association granted Andersen's request to be reinstated as an NBA player. The reinstatement was effective immediately, and the rights to his services belonged to his former team, the New Orleans Hornets, who re-signed him on March 5, 2008 for the rest of the 2007–08 season.
Return to Denver (2008–2012)Edit
On July 24, 2008, Andersen signed a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets. Andersen finished the 2008–09 season second in the league in blocks per game with 2.5 despite playing only 20.6 minutes per game.
On July 8, 2009, Andersen re-signed with the Nuggets on a five-year deal.
On July 17, 2012, the Nuggets waived Andersen via the amnesty clause. Nuggets General Manager Masai Ujiri, a friend of Andersen, reluctantly made the transaction in order to remove $9 million from the team's payroll cap to avoid the luxury tax.
Miami Heat (2013–2016)Edit
Before he was waived by the Nuggets, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra had repeatedly lobbied Pat Riley to acquire Andersen.
On January 20, 2013, Andersen signed a 10-day contract with the Miami Heat. He was signed to a second 10-day contract on January 30, and signed for the remainder of the season on February 8, 2013.
Andersen played in only 42 games during the 2012–13 season but still contributed to the Heat's success by putting up 4.9 points per game on 57.7 FG% and 4.1 rebounds in 14.9 minutes of play. After he joined the Heat, his team went on a 27-game winning streak, overall going 37–3 in regular-season games in which Andersen played. Andersen also gained legions of fans inspired by his head-to-toe tattoos, Mohawk haircut, and trademark hustle.
Andersen shot 15–15 in Games 1–5 against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, including a 7-for-7 performance in Game 1 that set a franchise playoff record, besting the 6-for-6 mark by Alonzo Mourning in 2007. Andersen was suspended for Game 6 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals without pay for committing a flagrant foul on Tyler Hansbrough in Game 5.
At age 34, he reached the NBA Finals for the first time in his career. Against the San Antonio Spurs in the deciding Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, Andersen recorded three points, four rebounds, and a block en route to his first NBA championship. With a field goal percentage of 80.7%, Andersen finished the 2013 NBA Playoffs with an NBA Playoffs record for the highest field goal percentage.
On July 10, 2013, Andersen re-signed with the Miami Heat. He played 72 games during the 2013–14 regular season, averaging 6.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. On May 26, 2014, before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, it was announced that Andersen would miss Game 4 and subsequently Game 5 due to an array of nagging aches and pains which he had been suffering for some time. Andersen returned for Game 6, recording 9 points and 10 rebounds as the Heat went on to advance to their fourth straight NBA Finals and Andersen's second. The Heat again faced the Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals but were defeated in five games.
On July 19, 2014, Andersen again re-signed with the Heat. Over the course of the 2014–15 regular season, Andersen started 20 games, the most in a single season of his career.
Memphis Grizzlies (2016)Edit
On February 16, 2016, the Heat traded Andersen and two second-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade also involving the Charlotte Hornets. Three days later, he made his debut for the Grizzlies in a 109–104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, recording four points, three rebounds and one block in 11 minutes. In what would be the final postseason of his career, Andersen made his first career playoff start in a first round sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2016–2017)Edit
On July 22, 2016, Andersen signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. On December 16, 2016, he was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ACL tear that required season-ending surgery.
On February 13, 2017, the Cavaliers traded Andersen and cash considerations to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a 2017 protected second-round pick. He was immediately waived by the Hornets upon being acquired.
On March 23, 2018, Andersen was reported to have signed a contract with the BIG3 to join the draft pool, making Andersen draft eligible in the BIG3.
He was selected in the 2018 BIG3 draft by Power, and helped them win the 2018 BIG3 championship.
Andersen is known for brightly colored tattoos on his arms, chest, neck, back, hands, and legs. His first tattoo was given as an eighteenth birthday gift by his mother, who has some body art of her own from her days associating with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. Andersen's regular tattoo artist, Denver-based John Slaughter, estimates he has inked 65 percent of his body. He showed off those tattoos in PETA's "Ink Not Mink" ad campaign to protest the fur industry.
On May 10, 2012, Denver NBC affiliate KUSA reported that Andersen's home was the target of an investigation of a suspected internet criminal case by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. Andersen was not charged with any crimes. In September 2013, it was revealed that Andersen, along with Internet model Paris Dunn, were victims of an elaborate catfishing hoax, orchestrated by Canadian woman Shelly Chartier in Easterville, Manitoba. The story was covered by ABC News's 20/20 and MTV's Catfish: The TV Show.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Won an NBA championship|
|2005–06||New Orleans/Oklahoma City||32||2||17.8||.571||–||.476||4.8||.2||.3||1.3||5.0|
- ^ During the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, the team was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets during their temporary relocation to Oklahoma City due to Hurricane Katrina.
- ^ "Chris Andersen NBA Stats". he’s a loving person Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- ^ a b c "NBA.com: Chris Andersen Bio Page". NBA.com. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- ^ a b c d "Hornets' Andersen kicked out of NBA for drug use". ESPN.com. January 27, 2006. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ Coleman, Ross (January 24, 2011). "The Best Player From All 119 Schools Represented in the NBA". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ a b c d e Palmer, Chris (May 12, 2008). "Birdman's redemption bittersweet for his mother". ESPN the Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ Leibowitz, Ben (May 31, 2013). "A Timeline of Chris 'Birdman! Birdman!' Andersen's Bizarre NBA Career". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "National Basketball Development League Announces Inaugural Draft Results". NBA.com. NBDL Enterprises, LLC. November 1, 2001. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- ^ "Chris Andersen D-League Statistics". Basketball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
- ^ "NBDL: First NBDL Player "Called Up" to NBA". NBA.com. November 21, 2001. Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ Cavan, Jim (January 22, 2013). "For Chris Andersen, Another Chance". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- ^ "Chris Andersen #11 – C/F". TSN.ca. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ Simmons, Bill (April 15, 2008). "NBA MVP breakdown, Part I". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- ^ Burns, Mary (February 6, 2006). "Silence speaks volumes?". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- ^ "Chris Andersen 2005–06 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ Kuhls, Tim (February 22, 2007). "The "Birdman" Should Get a Second Chance". CornellSun.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ Wertheim, L. Jon (October 5, 2009). "Flight Of The Birdman". CNN.com. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "NBA and Players Association Reinstate Chris Andersen". NBA.com. March 4, 2008. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "Andersen expected to re-sign with Hornets after drug ban lifted". ESPN.com. March 4, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "Nuggets Sign Andersen". NBA.com. July 24, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- ^ "2008–09 NBA Leaders". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "Nuggets keep Birdman in their nest with 5-year deal". NBA.com. July 8, 2009. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "Nuggets waive F/C Chris Andersen under amnesty provision". NBA.com. July 17, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- ^ a b Beck, Howard (May 24, 2013). "Miami's High-Flying, Low-Key Role Player". The New York Times. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- ^ "HEAT Sign Chris Andersen". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 20, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
- ^ "Chris 'Birdman' Andersen signs with Heat". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 20, 2013. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
- ^ "HEAT Signs Chris Andersen". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- ^ "HEAT Signs Chris Andersen". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- ^ a b Beasley, Adam H. (June 21, 2013). "Chris 'Birdman' Andersen helps Miami Heat reach mountaintop". MiamiHerald.com. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- ^ Dwyer, Kelly (June 21, 2013). "Chris 'Birdman' Andersen celebrates exactly how you'd expect him to". Yahoo.com. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- ^ Moorhead, Couper (March 25, 2013). "Chris Andersen and The Rim Run Diary". NBA.com. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- ^ Smith, Sekou (May 31, 2013). "HEAT'S 'BIRDMAN' GROUNDED FOR GAME 6". NBA.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
- ^ "HEAT Re-Signs Chris Andersen". NBA.com. July 10, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- ^ "Andersen inactive, Lewis starts Game 4 for Heat". NBA.com. May 26, 2014. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
- ^ "HEAT Signs Chris Andersen". NBA.com. July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- ^ "Grizzlies acquire four 2nd Round Picks, Chris Andersen & P.J. Hairston in three-team trade". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- ^ "Conley has 25 points to lead Grizzlies past T'wolves 109–104". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 19, 2016. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
- ^ "Cavaliers Sign Center Chris Andersen". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 22, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- ^ "Cavaliers lose reserve center Chris Andersen to torn ACL". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- ^ "Cavaliers Complete Trade with Charlotte". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- ^ "Hornets Acquire Chris Andersen And Cash Considerations From Cavaliers". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- ^ "Chris Andersen joins BIG3's 2018 Draft Pool". Sportando.basketball. March 23, 2018. Archived from the original on July 15, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- ^ Gatto, Tom. "Big3 Draft 2018 selections: 'Birdman' among 19 chosen for 3-on-3 league". sportingnews.com. Sporting News. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
- ^ "Inside Team Power's Winning Culture". BIG3. March 26, 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
- ^ Tomasson, Chris (June 8, 2013). "Chris Andersen's tattoos tell story of his life journey". FOXSports.com. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
- ^ Hochman, Benjamin (November 30, 2011). "Nuggets center Chris Andersen stands tall for PETA". DenverPost.com. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
- ^ Moore, Matt (May 10, 2012). "Nuggets F Chris Andersen's home searched by police, property seized". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- ^ Windhorst, Brian (September 19, 2013). "Heat's Chris Andersen cleared". ESPN. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
- ^ Grobeck, Joe (March 3, 2020). "The Insane Story of How "Birdman" Got Catfished". FanBuzz – Sports News – NFL | NCAA | NBA | WWE. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- ^ "20/20: 04/14/17: Hooking a Catfish Watch Full Episode | 04/14/2017". ABC. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- ^ Raft, Cait (May 18, 2017). "'Catfish' Recap: Chris "Birdman" Andersen's Catfish Shocks Nev and Max". Us Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com