By Veronica An
In 2001, the Chris Andersen became the first G-League player to get an NBA contract. Anderson was the first round draft pick for the Fayetteville Patriots, an NBA Development or G-League team, in 2001. He already had experience playing for the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association and the New Mexico Slam of the International Basketball League. After just two games with the Fayetteville Patriots, the Denver Nuggets offered him a team position. He became known as a strong defensive player averaging 1.7 blocks per game with the Nuggets and a total career average of 1.4 blocks per game. Nicknamed Birdman for his arm span and acrobatics, Anderson signed with the New Orleans Hornets in 2004. He was disqualified from the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug policy in 2006. Anderson was the unintentional victim of a catfishing hoax in 2012 which was covered by MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show. Anderson returned to basketball for Power in the BIG3 league and won the championship in 2018.