Posts Tagged ‘Mascots’

Robin Lopez continues reign of terror against NBA mascots

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We need to talk about Robin Lopez. Specifically, we need to talk about how the Blazers center has something against NBA mascots. Almost exactly a year ago, Lopez had a run-in with Hooper, the Detroit Pistons mascot. And then a few months later, Lopez admitted his mascot hatred, singling out the Toronto Raptor as his least favorite with the ominous words, “He knows.”

So with Lopez and the Trail Blazers in Detroit last night, Hooper decided to confront Lopez, in a way, by putting out a sign challenging Lopez to not add a drawing of Hooper’s head to a caricature of Lopez.

Passive aggressive? Perhaps, but after getting body-slammed a year ago, Hooper may have felt vindicated in doing so. Either way, Lopez took the bait and completed the drawing…

And before tip-off, to add injury to insult, Lopez found Hooper and delivered a modified belly-to-belly suplex…

By now, NBA mascots should know better than to mess with RoLo…

A video posted by Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) on

You’ve been warned, NBA mascots. Avoid Robin Lopez at all costs!

Jazz beat Suns in Donkey Kong

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Utah Jazz got their lone win of the early season on Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns. But they also scored a big win over the Suns in an animated mascot version of Donkey Kong…


VIDEO: Donkey Jazz

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