Get to Know Chris Andersen

Each day of training camp’s Jonathan Goldstein well help you get to know one of the Nuggets. Be sure to check back each day for a new player interview.

Today, get to know….
Nuggets forward Chris Andersen

It has been a long and winding road to the NBA for 6-10, 220-pound Chris Andersen. After just one year of junior college ball at Blinn J.C. in Texas, he played in China and multiple minor leagues here in the States. In 2001 he bounced from the Cleveland Cavaliers summer league team to the Phoenix Suns training camp to being the first overall selection in the NBA Developmental League before the Nuggets made him the NBDL’s first-ever NBA call-up last season. Since joining the team, Andersen has shown a strong work ethic and marked improvement. This summer he helped lead the Nuggets to a perfect 6-0 finish in the 2002 Rocky Mountain Revue summer league in Salt Lake City, Utah. With averages of 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.33 steals, and 1.17 blocks in 18.0 minutes per game, Andersen was rewarded with league MVP honors. While with the Nuggets last year Andersen averaged 3.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.17 blocks in just over 10 minutes a game. He is hoping his hard work will earn him an expanded role with the team this season.

JG: “Did you have a favorite team growing up?”
ANDERSEN: “It was the Houston Rockets.”
JG: “Did you have a favorite player?”
ANDERSEN: “It was Clyde Drexler. I wanted to fly like him.”

JG: “I know you played a lot of different places on your road to the NBA. Do you remember everywhere you played?”
ANDERSEN: “Umm…I played in the IBL (New Mexico Slam, 1999-2000), the IBA (Fargo-Morehead Beez, ‘00-01), the SWBL (????), just a couple of small little leagues.”

JG: “You played in China too, right??”
ANDERSEN: “Yeah, I played in Xiangsu for the Nangang Dragons (’99-00).”

JG: “What was the weirdest thing or biggest difference about basketball over there?”
ANDERSEN: “Definitely the smoke in the gyms. They had that smoking rule over there. No, they didn’t even have a smoking rule. Everybody just would chain-smoke their cigarettes. You’d just look up and there’d be smoke everywhere.
JG: “Were these players or fans or what?”
ANDERSEN: “Fans, players. Players were just sitting on the end of the bench smoking cigarettes.”

JG: “?This will be your first time starting the season in the NBA and with the Nuggets. What are you most looking forward to?”
ANDERSEN: “I’m just looking forward to getting some time, you know. I mean I’ve been here all summer working. I just want to show-off the things I’ve learned over the past summer.”

JG: “What’s the most memorable game you’ve played in?”
ANDERSEN: “Umm, probably the L.A. game when I shot the underhanded free throw.”
Due to a bone chip in his right wrist Andersen was unable to snap his wrist on free throws and was forced to try the attempts underhanded in a January 22, 107-91 win over the Lakers. Andersen attempted just two free throws, making one of the two. The injury required surgery and he spent more than a month on the Injured List.

JG: “How many tattoos do you have currently?”
JG: “What does the one down the back of your (right) arm say?”
ANDERSEN: “God’s Grace.”
JG: “What was your first one?”
ANDERSEN: “The first one I got was the ‘Good’ Chinese symbol (on left forearm), right when I got back from China. And then they just started multiplying.”
JG: “They say they’re addictive.”
ANDERSEN: “It’s true.”

JG:“Who has the best arena in the league?”
ANDERSEN: “After (Nuggets owner Stanley) Kroenke gets done with this place (Pepsi Center), it will probably be, I think, the best.”

JG: “What about the worst?”
ANDERSEN: “I don’t know that any are the worst.”
JG: “Well I guess with some of the places you’ve played you have a real appreciation for any NBA facility.

JG: “What about the best uniforms in the league?”
ANDERSEN: “The best uniforms? If we went throwback we’d probably have the best ones.”
JG: “The rainbow ones?”

JG: “Who has the worst jerseys?”
ANDERSEN: “I couldn’t even tell you that either. The worst jerseys?”
JG: “What about like Cleveland’s or Houston’s?”
ANDERSEN: “Those teams do have bad ones. Cleveland’s got a bad one.”

JG: “You have any good friends on another team in the league?”
ANDERSEN: “I got Rashard Lewis that plays with the Seattle Sonics.”
JG: “Is it a Texas connection? (Lewis is from Houston)”
ANDERSEN: “Yeah, from Texas. Tierre (Brown) from the Houston Rockets. Just most of the guys that play in Houston (in the offseason) with (James) Posey and all of them, Nick (Van Exel, Dallas Mavericks).”

JG: “Are you a big fan of any other sports?”
ANDERSEN: “Football.”
JG: “Any Super Bowl predictions?”
ANDERSEN: “The Raiders.”
JG: “Is that your team?”
ANDERSEN: “Yeah. They’re going to take it all. They’ve looked so good so far.”

JG: “Favorite movie?”
ANDERSEN: “(drawing a blank) Ummm….”
JG: “Don’t worry about it. What is about music? Your favorite CDs?”
ANDERSEN: “Umm… I’d say uhhh… everything. We’ll go with that.”

JG: “You have any pets?”
ANDERSEN: “I’ve got a dog, yes.”
JG: “What kind?”
ANDERSEN: “Pit bull.”
JG: “What’s his name?”
ANDERSEN: “Her name is Knox, Mallory Knox, from Natural Born Killers

JG: Any nicknames growing up? Did your mom call you anything?”
ANDERSEN:‘Damnit Boy!’, so I thought my name was ‘Damnit Boy!’. No, nothing really.”

JG: “Favorite breakfast cereal?”
ANDERSEN: “Lucky Charms.”

JG: “Alright, one more. Fashion over function or function over fashion?”
ANDERSEN: “Funk and fashion. No, what?
JG: “Are you more concerned with dressing nicely or comfortably?”
ANDERSEN: “I’d rather be comfortable.”

JG: “Are you going to keep the soul patch for the season?”
ANDERSEN: “Oh yeah, I’m keeping that.”

JG: “Alright, good luck.”
ANDERSEN: “Thanks.”

Be sure to check back each day during training camp for another player on “Get to Know Your Nuggets.” You can e-mail your questions and comments to Jonathan Goldstein at