Chris “Birdman” Andersen was born to Linda and Claus Andersen on July 7th, 1978 in Southern California. His family lived there for a while and then moved to Texas. His parents were divorced in 1986. His mom was a single parent with three children. In 1989 she was so stressed out that she sent the two older children, April and Chris, to live with their father in Irving, Texas. In early 1990 Claus left April and Chris at the Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home in Denton, Texas. When Linda found out she began taking the steps required to bring Chris home. Chris was at Cumberland from 5th to 8th grade.
While there he attended public school just like any other kid living in Denton. He went to Borman Elementary School for a year and a half. For seventh and eighth grade he went to Calhoun Middle School. At Cumberland he shared a room with Joe Corona. “He was a good person to be around,” Corona said. “He could make you laugh. ” Staff at Cumberland also said Chris was fun to be around. In June of 1993 Linda had completed everything needed to take Chris home with her to Iola, Texas. When Chris moved back home with his mom he was enrolled at Iola High School. He was instantly liked because of his easy going manner.
He played basketball for the Iola Bulldogs. They were a Class 2A school during his last two years there. “He’d keep practices real light,” said Iola’s basketball coach then, Rob Stewart. “I’d get on him, and he’d give me the goofy smile. ” As a junior Chris averaged a triple double. This did not get him much attention. His coach mailed out copies of his box score after his first game of his senior year. He received a lot of replies. The field of interested colleges was greatly reduced because of his grades. Because of this Chris chose to go to Blinn College where he played for Coach Joe Curl.
Coach Curl left and things did not go well with the new coach. Chris ended up quitting basketball before Christmas. Chris went to Houston to find his basketball fame. He played in an exhibition tour of China. He was signed to play with the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons for the rest of the 1999-2000 season. After that he came back to the United States and played for the New Mexico Slam and the Fargo-Moorhead Beez. During 2001 he worked out and played with a group in Houston. “Nobody really wanted to pick him [for games],” said Johnson, the Mavericks’ coach. “He would just wait his turn, wait his turn.
But, boy, when he got out there, he was all over the place. ” Chris played in the NBA’s Rocky Mountain Revue at the end of the summer. This is where Denver saw him play. Denver then signed him in late November. This was his start in the NBA. Chris was first signed by the Denver Nuggets as a free agent for the 2001-02 season. He stayed there until the end of the 2003-04 season. He was then signed by the New Orleans Hornets. He was there for the 2004-05 to the 2005-06 seasons. During this time he was suspended for two years for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy.
When he was re-instated he was re-signed by the Hornets for the 2007-08 season. He has been back with the Denver Nuggets since the 2008-09 season. Along with a new contract he also has new tattoos. They are a flock of birds on each leg around the shin area. In downtown Denver there is a mural of him on the side of a building. In conclusion Chris “Birdman” Andersen has had an interesting life. People like him and take notice of his many tattoos and wild hair. His path to the NBA has not been an easy one but now that he is there he is making the most of it.