The mascot is an inseparable part of NBA teams. They are seen as symbols that can bring good luck to the team and help them achieve success. They work hard during breaks and time-outs and make sure that no fans are sad in the stands.
Which NBA teams have a mascot? Currently, 26 NBA teams have a mascot that can be widely seen during matches. The only teams that do not have one are: The New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets.
Some NBA mascots are almost more recognizable to fans than basketball players: they celebrate birthdays, receive awards, they even have their own Hall of Fame. We will have a look at some of the most notable mascots in the NBA.
Lucky the Leprechaun – Boston Celtics
At just 5 feet long, Lucky the Leprechaun can drink twice as much as his teammates! The Leprechaun surprises the audience with jumping, tumbling in the air, giving advice and showing how to throw balls into the basket. The mascot is also known as a fashionista and dandy. Boston is known for its large Irish community, so it should come as no surprise that a character from Irish folklore has become the city’s mascot.
The Raptor – Toronto Raptors
Who, if not a dinosaur, could become the mascot of this team? The character is quick-tempered and unbalanced. It is a predator: loves meat, but sometimes it can eat a cheerleader …
Hooper – Detroit Pistons
Hooper was born on March 6th in Lucky, Kentucky and trained as a racehorse as a child. But the horse’s soul has always been not for racing, but for basketball. Hooper began to train hard and hone his skills until he finally earned himself a spot with the Pistons. The talisman knows how to juggle, perform magic tricks and climb down the tightrope from the roof of The Palace of Auburn Hills. Hooper celebrates his birthday every year at the team’s home arena with Roary from the Detroit Lions and other NBA mascots.
Boomer – Indiana Pacers
Boomer is one of the most famous mascots in the league. The huge energetic panther Boomer joined the team in 1991. As befits a predator, Boomer jumps high and also loves to dance. From 2001 to 2009 Boomer worked in tandem with the dog, who helped him entertain the children who came to the match. The duo disbanded in 2009 after the dog retired.
Moondog – Cleveland Cavaliers
The official mascot of the Cavaliers – Moondog is a unique character in its way, as it represents not only the basketball team but the whole city. Cleveland is known all over the world as the city of rock and roll, the fame was brought to the city by DJ Alan Freed, a musical revolutionary and popularizer of rock and roll. The artist called himself Moondog and his fans were nicknamed Moondoggers. So when in 2003 the Cavaliers wanted to create a mascot that would be associated with their hometown, Moondog became the most obvious option.
Bango – Milwaukee Bucks
Deer Bango is one of the oldest NBA mascots, it first appeared on the court back in 1977. During the years that he has been in the service of Milwaukee, Bango managed to fall in love with not only the fans of the team but the entire state of Wisconsin. The deer is a constant participant in parades and festivals.
In 2009, during the All-Star weekend in Phoenix, Bango failed a stunt and broke his leg. Due to injury, the next season he was forced to cheer his team from the bench, and only occasionally went to the site in a wheelchair. His return in the 2009/10 season was a real treat, and when Bango also threw the ball into the basket, doing a somersault from a 20-meter ladder, there was simply no limit to the delight of the fans.
Benny – Chicago Bulls
One of the first mascots of the NBA teams, Benny the Bull first appeared at the home arena of the Chicago Bulls in 1969. It is believed that the first bull is the great-grandfather of the modern bull. Great grandfather Benny performed at the old stadium Chicago and did things that modern mascots never dreamed of. Arguing with a judge, sitting in a basket or jumping over a ring of fire – the only rule for Sr. Benny was not to bite people!
Nowadays Benny is no longer just an entertainer who entertains the audience during the breaks of matches, but a real symbol of the championship and the league.
Burnie – Miami Heat
The Miami Heat mascot is a symbolic image of fire with a basketball instead of a nose. In 1994, during a break at an exhibition match in Puerto Rico, the mascot tried to invite one of the spectators to dance. As evil, the lady turned out to be the wife of a Federal judge, she tried to escape from Burney’s embrace and fell. As a result, the actor was accused of robbery and beating, while he faced 20 years in prison and a fine of 1 million dollars. As a result, representatives of the team and the authorities of Puerto Rico agreed on 50 thousand dollars, and the conflict was settled.
Stuff Magic Dragon – Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic’s mascot – the Magic Dragon refers to the famous 1963 song Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary. The dragon lives in its own lair in the centre of Orlando Amway and has been entertaining the public for 20 seasons. Likes to have fun, throw parties and host mascots of other teams. Like the Detroit Pistons’ Hooper, he celebrates his birthday every year.