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“It’s time for the Birdman to fly,” Chris Anderson said to a sideline reporter during the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest in Denver. The Birdman then proceeded to miss about twenty consecutive dunks. Bill Simmons equated the performance to the scene from “One on One” (never seen it) in which Robby Benson overdoses on greenies and makes a fool out of himself at practice, except Anderson was in front of 20,000 people.

Perhaps Bill Simmons was not far off in his comparison, as Chris Anderson returned to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday after spending two years away from the league due to a drug suspension. The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement states that a player can only be disqualified for a fourth positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, or a first positive test for “drugs of abuse.”

Substances that classify as “drugs of abuse” are methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP. Although neither the NBA nor the players’ union is allowed to comment on the suspension, reports have circled that cocaine was involved.

I ran into David West, current Hornet and teammate of Anderson’s before the suspension, while I was chatting with Brett Favre on MSN Instant Messenger. West referred to Anderson’s drug use as ‘riduculi,’ even citing a game in which the Birdman was high on PCP.

“Back in 2005, Chris grabbed 18 rebounds while high on sherm,” West said.

“The combination of PCP and hair gel made him hallucinate that pigeons where taking dumps on his head while he was on the court verse the Hawks. That’s how the nickname, ‘Birdman,” came about. People think it’s because he’s long and can jump high, but it really spawns from a bad angel dust trip. You know, like in the movie ‘Friday.'”

chris-anderson-hair.jpgAnderson first burst onto the scene in the 2004 NBA Dunk Contest when he was member of the Denver Nuggets. In Denver, his eccentric hairdos and high energy made him a crowd favorite. During the 2004 Dunk Contest in Los Angeles, Jack Nicholson took exception to Anderson while in his courtside seats.

Commentators assumed that Birdman’s affable personality was the reason for Jack’s gestures and affection. During Anderson’s press conference on Wednesday, however, he surprised reporters by informing he and Nicholson once used together.

“Jack and I used to do rails of blow in between Lara Flynn Boyle’s protruding ribs,” Anderson said. He went onto assure the Hornets and media members that those days have passed.

“I’m still crazy. I’m still going to do the wild things on the court and everything,” he added. “I’m just not going to do it while high off Sherman Helmsley.”

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