Chris 'Birdman" Andersen joined the Memphis Grizzlies in mid-February after parts of four seasons with the Miami Heat, which means that he was likely to undergo some kind of adjustment period no matter how hard he tried to adjust to his new home. The early results have been pretty good — Andersen has started four of his nine games with the team and looks like a key defensive presence with Marc Gasol sidelined due to a broken foot. It's not clear how long he will occupy the Grindhouse, but Birdman seems to fit in.
In fact, he may be doing even better than initially thought. According to a report and a Grizzlies lineup sheet, Andersen has a new nickname. And it has apparently affected his measurements, as well. Take a look (via SB Nation):
— Bob Adlhoch (@badlhoch) March 6, 2016
Don't worry, this story goes way beyond the ridiculous nickname and the growth spurt to 14 feet tall and 300-pound wide (whatever that means). Because it's actually "Grizzzilla." Don't forget the third "z." From Jason Lieser for The Palm Beach Post:
That’s what he calls himself now. “There’s three Z’s. You got it?” He’s adamant about that.
And who wouldn't be adamant about it? That extra "z" is what really makes the difference between a play on the Grizzlies name and a truly fantastic nickname with personal significance. Without it, Andersen is just pandering.
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It's not clear if the name originated with Andersen or Fed Ex Forum public address announcer Rick Trotter, but I think we can agree it's pretty fantastic no matter who created it. It sums up the charms of both Andersen and this especially gritty incarnation of the Grizzlies, who defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road Monday night despite missing many key players (including Grizzzilla) and suiting up only eight guys.
The only problem with the new nickname is that Andersen is already so identified with the "Birdman" moniker that it's hard to imagine another one sticking. It could be hard for the public to embrace "Grizzzilla" when we already know the other so well.
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