Posts Tagged ‘Mascots’

San Antonio Coyote named mascot of the year

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Here at the All Ball blog, we love keeping an interested eye trained on NBA mascots, who spend night after night providing entertainment for NBA fans in arenas across North America. It’s a mostly thankless job, one done under the cover of faux fur, where your true identity is sublimated in order to become a character.

But occasionally a mascot is singled out, as happened yesterday when The Coyote, the mascot for the San Antonio Spurs, was voted NBA mascot of the year by his fellow mascots. The Coyote — a wild-eyed, pants-less canine — joins his franchise atop their respective divisions.

To honor The Coyote, here are some of his highlights from the 2013-14 season…


VIDEO: Coyote highlights

Orlando Magic mascot STUFF competes in Tonight Show dance-off

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” is airing shows taped in Orlando all week, and when you’re in Orlando, you best pay respect to STUFF, the Magic’s all-caps mascot. Dancing in a mascot costume must be a tough thing to do, and here we see just how tough, as STUFF goes toe-to-toe with Fallon’s mascot, Hashtag. I have to say I disagree with Fallon’s ruling — the belly-shake move from STUFF put him/her over the top as far as I was concerned.


VIDEO: Mascot dance-off

Goodbye, Rufus the Bobcat

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — OK, sure, everyone’s all excited about the return of the Charlotte Hornets, which was made official earlier today. It’s great, I suppose, as the Bobcats cast aside a nickname that never really resonated in the region and instead embrace the name that was with them during the franchise glory days.

But what about Rufus? Did anyone think of Rufus Lynx, the mascot of the Bobcats? With the Bobcats name gone, it’s also time to say goodbye to the Bobcats mascot, who will go where all mascots go when they are no longer needed. (The recycling bin? A utility closet? The fabric store? Not sure where that is, actually.)

In a few weeks we will all laugh and cheer for Hugo the Hornet as he is removed from mothballs are re-introduced as the franchise mascot. But don’t you ever forget about Rufus. All he did was do his job, until it went away. Godspeed, Rufus.


VIDEO: Rufus retires

Raptors mascot eats Nets fan

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Emotions definitely run pretty high during the postseason. And not just among players — I’m talking fans and mascots as well. Check out what happened last night in Toronto, where a Nets fan was blindfolded and essentially fed to the Raptors’ inflatable Raptor mascot. I’m not saying this wasn’t set-up in advance, but, well, either way it’s pretty funny…


VIDEO: Raptor eats Nets fan

(via TNLP)

Rajon Rondo debuts as TV analyst

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — As Celtics guard Rajon Rondo continues his comeback from last season’s knee injury, he still is building up his strength and endurance, so he still sits out the occasional second game of back-to-back games. Last night the Celtics had the second game of a back-to-back against Chicago. But instead of staying home, Rondo decided to try watching from the TV broadcast booth, as he spent the first half of the game working as a color analyst. (Benny the Bull was thrilled to see him.) Pretty cool to hear him explain plays and the thought behind the play design…


VIDEO: Rondo as analyst

(via SLAM)

Best of times, worst of times for mascots

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last week we noted the reported retirement of Bango the Buck as well as the return of The Raptor in Toronto. This week we check back in to find a mascot missing his eyes, as well as a mascot with a penchant for making amazing shots…

Let’s start in Denver, where Nuggets mascot Rocky shows off his ability to make all sorts of incredible trick shots…


VIDEO: Rocky scores

Meanwhile, down in San Antonio, Spurs mascot Coyote bounced off of Denver’s Aaron Brooks, and the collision caused his eyes to pop out. Which has to be a bummer.


VIDEO: Coyote loses eyes

(Rocky via TNLP)

The return of The Raptor

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the most crucial NBA injuries to occur during the preseason happened to the Raptor, mascot for the Toronto Raptors, who suffered an Achilles injury. As we noted at the time, everyone in the organization took the news hard.

We last saw the Raptor a few months ago on the road to a return as he attacked rehab. But yesterday, the Raptor finally made his big return. As you can see in the video below, his rehab took him to the ends of the earth, but he managed to get it together in time to rejoin the Raptors for the stretch run.


VIDEO: The Raptor returns

Report: Milwaukee Bucks mascot Bango to retire

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


VIDEO: Bango From 20 Feet

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Sad news out of Milwaukee, where the man who plays Bango, the always-entertaining mascot of the Bucks, will be retiring at the end of the season, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Kevin Vanderkolk has worn Bango’s antlers for nearly 15 years, and has established Bango as one of the more athletic mascots in the NBA. He’s experienced lows, such as tearing his ACL at the 2009 All-Star Game, and highs, like the crazy backflip dunk off of a 20-foot-ladder in the video clip at the top of this post.

Vanderkolk did not comment on this report, but if the news is accurate, those of us who count ourselves mascot aficionados will be sad to see him go.

Someone who may not be as sad? Dwight Howard.

UPDATE: The Bucks posted a job opening for a full-time Mascot Coordinator/new Bango


VIDEO: Bango vs. Dwight


VIDEO: Bango’s Best

The house of Mutombo is still the house of Mutombo

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Clippers/Nuggets game was notable in that not only did Denver snap L.A.’s 11-game win streak, but it was also a throwback night in Denver. Both teams played in cool retro uniforms, as the Nuggets recognized the 20th anniversary of their 1994 team that upset the Seattle SuperSonics.

With several former Nuggets on hand, including Reggie Williams and LaPhonso Ellis, it only made sense for Denver mascot Rocky the Mountain Lion to bring out Dikembe Mutombo to help with a dunk attempt. What happened next was pure Mutombo


VIDEO: Mutombo/Rocky

Detroit Pistons Mascot Gets Sweet Revenge Against Joakim Noah

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months back we caught up with Detroit Pistons mascot Hooper as he had a very bad weekend. After first having a run-in with Andray Blatche and the Nets, Robin Lopez and the Blazers also had their way with Hooper.

But last night, Hooper seemed to draw some measure of revenge against Bulls center Joakim Noah. During pregame warmups, Hooper got on Joakim’s level and challenged him to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. This footage is a bit inconclusive, but it appears as though Hooper goes paper while Noah goes rock. Classic move by Hooper.

jo3

This had no long-lasting effects on Noah, apparently, who went out and turned in his second triple-double in his last three games. After the game, leaving the floor, he must have felt as if he’d conquered the Pistons.

But not if Hooper was going to have anything to do with it…

joakimhooper

It was all enough to lead Hooper to talk a little Twitter trash…