Posts Tagged ‘Rocky The Lion’

Denver Nuggets mascot makes unsanctioned political appearance

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Sports mascots are, at their core, a conduit for fun. They are their team’s common denominators, a representative of every fan, from the front row to the cheap seats. But out in Denver, longtime Nuggets mascot Rocky the mountain lion made an off-court appearance this week that caught some people by surprise, apparently including his employers.

Earlier this week, Rocky made an appearance at a Colorado Republican rally. As the Denver Post reports

Nuggets marketing manager Graham Wincott, who handles Rocky and his appearances, said the team’s mascot showing up at the GOP event was “an unsanctioned, unpaid appearance that we had no knowledge of.”

Denver sports figures have been to political events in the past, but sports teams and organizations typically stay away from any kind of political endorsements or appearances, which is why the Kroenke brass was surprised by the appearance.

“As a sports team, we want to be apolitical,” Wincott said. “Two things we never touch on are politics and religion.”

The Nuggets’ mascot was bouncing around at the Colorado Republican Party rally Monday at Heritage High School. Top players on the Colorado GOP ticket were at the event, which included 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Wincott said the KSE management team met Tuesday “with the actor who plays Rocky to figure out exactly how it happened and what transpired and get to the bottom of how all this occurred.”

If nothing else, this gives us a chance to check out some of Rocky’s greatest hits, like his recent dust-up with Russell Westbrook or, as in the video below, a classic run-in with his longtime nemesis, Charles Barkley


VIDEO: Rocky vs Lakers/Barkley

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)

Russell Westbrook: Hater Of Mascots

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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