I bet you’re probably thinking I’m crazy for even trying to compare these two players but I feel like it needs to be done considering the things I’ve heard.
My generation is different when it comes to the NBA. Compared to the 1980’s and 90’s, my generation (the new millennium generation), has seen the NBA transform from the style of play to the bulk of rosters.
The NBA is different now; it has a lot of dynamic players and teams who have rosters with several All-Stars. We’ve witnessed players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, and plenty more who have made their mark on the game. If you go further back to Michael Jordan’s time, who of course is the greatest of all time, they had some different players too. Jordan had some teammates who helped him win championships, like James has, but that’s a totally different argument.
If you can think of one player from the 90’s that was a bit “different,” who would you think of? By different, I mean a player who was good (actually really good: he’s a Hall of Famer), but more than that, a player who wanted attention and definitely got it.
Dennis Rodman is my answer. Rodman is the definition of odd and different but man could he play basketball. I have friends who have told me they think Chris Andersen is the Dennis Rodman of our generation. To be honest, I actually agree with that, but I’m looking from appearance more than style of play.
Yes, Andersen, AKA Birdman, is “different” because more than half of his body is inked with tattoos, and because he spikes his hair up in funky hairstyles. Yes, Chris Andersen has won an NBA championship. Yes, Birdman is a very good rebounder and defender. I give him credit. He is a good player and has overcome a lot of obstacles to get to the Miami Heat. He was in trouble for drug abuse while he was with the Denver Nuggets and has faced other incidents.
I’m a fan of Birdman. He definitely helped the Heat out during the finals this past season. Sources say 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. The Heat went on their 27-game win streak and had a 37-3 record, after Anderson joined the team.
It’s obvious he made an impact with his intense style of play, his energy while grabbing the boards and alley-oops, but can you really say he’s comparable to Rodman? Besides the tattoos, abilities to impact the team with rebounds and defense, and off the court issues, they can’t be put in the same category.
Dennis Rodman is a Hall of Famer, won 5 NBA titles, and won defensive player of the year several times. Rodman definitely was odd and different, but he was a tough player. Birdman is tough too, and I love the energy he brings to the Heat. I’m excited to see how he plays this year considering he’ll have a full year with the Heat. Do I think he’ll be a Hall of Famer? No I don’t. I can see why people would compare him to Rodman but when it comes down to it, Anderson is just himself. I can say that Birdman is our generation’s Rodman in some ways but in the end, Rodman is better.