With Miami Heat forward Chris 'Birdman' Andersen injured and out of uniform for Game 4 of his team's series against the Indiana Pacers, a young boy was left to pick up the slack for the colorful big man.
Gianni Zandri, a 10-year-old from Naples, Fla., has been known in South Florida to dress up as the tattooed, Mohawked Heat reserve during games. But he was thrust into the national spotlight Monday when he was shown on ESPN's broadcast.
Lil Birdman is here! pic.twitter.com/YtY0UZzhy7
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) May 27, 2014
According to his Instagram account, Gianni spent four and a half hours at a tattoo parlor before the game getting the requisite ink. While Andersen's body art isn't all rated PG, Gianni's tattoos are kid-friendly.
Not to worry, parents, the art is temporary. Here's Gianni without the tattoos and the mohawk:
For reference, here's what the actual Birdman looks like these days:
Other than the beard, Gianni is spot on.
At the game, Gianni snagged photos with a few celebrities. Here he is with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose:
And Floyd Mayweather:
Gianni isn't the first youngster to dress up as Birdman, and we can only hope that Andersen takes the time to meet Gianni as he did with this baby.
Perhaps spurred on by the spirit of 'Birdkid,' the Heat dismantled the Pacers in Game 4 and took a commanding 3-1 series lead.