During his time with the Nuggets, Andersen then began his transformation into the outlandish-looking character he is today. The player dubbed “Birdman” by his teammates developed an obsession with tattoos and gradually covered his body in colorful designs. He also cut and shaped his hair into a distinctive mohawk style.
Andersen marked himself out on the court too, mind you, and this led to him joining the New Orleans Hornets in 2004. But then in early 2006 he was suspended from the NBA. Apparently, he had been caught using a prohibited drug – a misdemeanor that saw him barred from basketball for a minimum of two years.
Andersen had come too far to be defeated so easily, though, and following a stint in rehab he dedicated himself to improving his game. After that, in 2008, he was welcomed back to finish the season with the Hornets. And later that same year he returned to play for the Nuggets – a successful homecoming that should have marked the end of his career woes.