Chris Andersen

They’re lifted out of their seats by an uncontrollable pull, some sort of gravity defying physics involving euphoria and anticipation and feeling 10 again. They’re experiencing Birdmania, the sensation that makes adults pop out of their seats and flap their arms like wings while cheering this bizarre being who seems to be something from an action film, a cartoon or Neptune. Miami Heat fans adore the colorful Chris Andersen the way Nuggets fans did, notably during Denver’s run to the 2009 Western Conference finals.

Well, starting Thursday, “The Birdman” will be in his first NBA Finals — this after a journey detoured by a two-year drug suspension and legal troubles at the end of his Nuggets career. A transformation from superhuman to human to superhuman.

“I haven’t sat back and actually pondered upon it,” Andersen said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Being in the Finals is great, but I didn’t work my (butt) off for all my career, risk all these injuries just to get to the Finals. I sacrificed my time, blood and sweat and put everything I have into winning a championship, man.

“I think once we win the championship, that will be surreal to me, and that will be the time to reflect. The journey’s not over yet.”

Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post