By Jeff Case
Outside of the Phoenix Suns’ Gorilla, few NBA mascots are perhaps as well known as the Denver Nuggets’ Rocky the Mountain Lion. Like any good NBA mascot worth his salt, he’s had his share of jovial dust-ups with superstars, taken part in a “Gangnam Style”-video for laughs, he’s rappelled off a building … well, you get the idea. He does it all.
Those facts are all apparently lost on OKC All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. All Rocky was trying to do in last night’s OKC-Denver game from the Pepsi Center was hit a halfcourt, over-the-head shot that he’s nailed before. Westbrook was having none of it and rejected the halfcourt shot not once, but TWICE(!!), as you can see below:
Our good friend Benjamin Hochman over at the Denver Post has more details on the incident:
Kobe Bryant has company. Denver has a new NBA villain, and he is Russell Westbrook.
Super mascot Rocky shoots backward half-court shots during a fourth-quarter timeout of every game. If he makes one, fans get free Qdoba queso. Well, Rocky’s final attempt appeared to be going in, but the Thunder’s Westbrook, walking onto the court, jumped up and blocked the shot. The arena erupted in boos and continued every time he touched the ball.
Then Rocky tried again during the next timeout and Westbrook, again, caught the shot, this time throwing the ball into the stands. The boos became deafening. But Westbrook seemed to feed off it, first flashing a villainous smile, but then firing a dagger of daggers. With 22.9 seconds left, and the Thunder down three points, he unflappably floated an arcing 3-pointer over Wilson Chandler, tying the game.
“Russell made a lot of friends here tonight,” Karl said sarcastically.
Hard to say what’s worse in this situation: being mean to a mascot or denying the fine people of Denver some free cheese dip.
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