Or, if you prefer, “We Fly High (On Drugs of Addiction). I’ve already been enjoying this NBA season immensely, give or take a star player on the team I care about quitting in November here or there. And now things are looking up again with the Hornets’ signing of Chris “Birdman” Andersen — a throwback of an NBA player who was suspended after testing positive for what the NBA league office terms “the awesome drugs” (actually, “drugs of addiction”) when he wasn’t getting goofy tattoos or delivering a pathbreakingly ghastly Slam Dunk Contest performance that GC once termed “the most effective scared-straight video of all-time.”
After two years of working out and presumably staying away from the PCP, Andersen’s career with the Hornets could resume as early as tonight, against the Hawks. What’s below is from the AP write-up on the piece, via ESPN:
Neither the NBA nor the players’ union is allowed to comment on the specifics of a drug test, but according to the collective bargaining agreement, a player can only be disqualified for a fourth positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, or a first positive test for “drugs of abuse.”Andersen has not previously been suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The drugs on the “drugs of abuse” list are amphetamine and its analogs, which include methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP.
Andersen was a fan-favorite in New Orleans during the Hornets’ last season here before Hurricane Katrina displaced the club to Oklahoma City for two seasons. He averaged 5.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks during a little more than four seasons in the NBA before becoming the first player thrown out for drugs since Stanley Roberts in 1999.
He played three seasons in Denver before joining New Orleans for the 2004-05 season.
During his suspension, Andersen said he worked out constantly with a trainer in Denver or Las Vegas, often spending six hours or more in the gym. He had a twinkle in his eye as he tried to explain what had changed about him — and what had not — during his road back to pro basketball.
“I’m still crazy. I’m still going to do the wild things on the court and everything,” Andersen said, adding he was smarter and more mature in handling personal matters. “You tend to grow up a lot in a situation like that over the past two years.”