Well, that is what is says on his neck.

When we found out that Doug Collins actually called Nick Young by his nickname (ironic), Swaggy P, all bets were off with regards to coaches succumbing to popular opinion and calling their players by their pseudonyms. So it should come as no surprise that Erik Spoelstra, who is way younger and hipper than Collins, would call his newest player, Chris Andersen, by his famous “Birdman” moniker. But it’s still pretty funny to read about.

From the Miami Herald:

Spoelstra tries to remain formal with his players. That rule has been really hard with Andersen.

When Spoelstra first met Andersen, he asked the Heat’s coach to call him “Bird.”

Spoelstra declined at first.

“I told him when I first met with him I said, ‘I’m going to have a hard time calling you that,’” Spoelstra said.

But it didn’t take Spoelstra long to embrace the name. In a strange way, it just feels weird calling “Birdman” something normal like, you know, his given name.

“For some reason, he’s different,” Spoelstra said. “I would never call anyone by their nickname, and I certainly wouldn’t accept anybody calling themselves in the third person, but he is different.”

Anderson often refers to himself in the third person as “the Birdman” or “a birdman.”

Between the giant wing tattoos on the underside of his arms and the fact that he calls himself “a birdman,” you kind of have to wonder if Chris Andersen is starting to think he really is part bird. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me. Plus, there’s more evidence to suggest this hypothesis is correct.

From Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post:

How much of the BirdMan repertoire is he showing? “Six feathers.” How many does he have. “Eleven.”

OK, so Chris Andersen refers to himself in the third person as being a birdman, his coach calls him “Bird” because “he’s different,” and he knows exactly how many feathers are in his repertoire — I am convinced that Chris Andersen has taken “Birdman” from nickname to lifestyle choice and is at least somewhat convinced that his body is partially made from avian DNA. It sounds crazy but this is Chris Andersen we’re talking about here. Would you put such a thing past him? I didn’t think so.

In related news, I thought about Rory Sparrow yesterday. This concludes your NBA bird content for the day.