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Who is 'Birdman' in NBA and why was he given that nickname: All you need to know

Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day
Birdman in NBA, Chris Andersen

To this day, Birdman in NBA is one of the more unique nicknames in the league's history. It belongs to Chris Andersen, a former center who managed to hang around for nearly two decades. After making the jump straight from high school, Andersen made his debut with the Denver Nuggets in 2001.

Over a span of 15 years, Birdman's NBA career lasted 695 games. In that time, he posted averages of 5.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.

How Birdman in NBA came to be

While it might go down as one of the best nicknames in NBA history, it is also one of the most bizarre. Birdman was given to him by a pair of teammates early on in his career because of his appearance. Not because of the iconic spiked hair and arm tattoos, but his physical stature.

Standing at six-foot-ten with a seven-foot-two wingspan, Andersen had a lot of length on him. Because he was so long, people on the Denver Nuggets began to call him Birdman. From there, he was only known as Birdman in NBA.

Birdman's best NBA seasons

Despite his size, Birdman's NBA career mainly consisted of being a role player. He played for five different franchises, but never got an opportunity where he played more than 21 minutes a game.

From a statistical standpoint, Andersen had the best year of his career back in 200. He had his highest games played (67) and averaged his most minutes per game (21.3) that year. He went on to post averages of 7.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.5 blocks.

That being said, if you were to ask Andersen what his best season was, he might say 2013. During that time, he found himself on a Miami Heat team that was headlined by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The team went on to win the title that year, and was the only time Birdman was part of a title team.

Andersen's playing days came to an end during the 2016-17 season. The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up the 38-year-old veteran, but cut him after just 12 games.

Birdman in NBA is still an iconic name and look

It's rare for a role player to leave his mark on the league, but Andersen was able to do so. Despite not being much of an impact player, fans around the league likely still know him because of his nickname and image.

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Edited by Kevin McCormick
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