Posts Tagged ‘Thunder’

The Warriors mascot that once was

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 14:  Thunder, the mascot of the Golden State Warriors,  pumps up the crowd before the game against the Houston Rockets on December 14, 2005 at the Arena in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Golden State Warriors mascot “Thunder”

By Jeff Case

We are nothing if not lovers of mascots and mascot news around these parts, so this story today about the Golden State Warriors and their long-ago mascot, Thunder, caught our eye.

Scott Cacciola of The New York Times details the origins and, ultimately, the end of “Thunder” the Warriors mascot. The short version: once the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City before the start of the 2008-09 season (and were renamed the Thunder), the other “Thunder” was done in Oakland.

As the Warriors run rampant through the league and push for the single-season wins mark, Cacciola thought it the right time to look back on the mascot that once resided in Oakland:

Once upon a time, Sadiki Fuller made his living by dressing up in a skintight bodysuit. Foam-enhanced muscles formed mountain peaks on his arms, and he wore a blue mask framed by a lightning bolt that swept toward the heavens.

Fuller played the role of Thunder, the onetime mascot of the Golden State Warriors — a fading and sometimes forgotten piece of franchise lore.

Fuller, who was inside the costume when Thunder made his grand entrance in 1997, entertained fans for five seasons before he left to pursue a career in comedy. Playing the role of Thunder was fun, Fuller said, but not without its challenges. The Warriors back then were not the record-breaking deities that they are now. Their overall record during his tenure was 97-281.

“Steph Curry would have made my job so easy,” Fuller said in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Los Angeles area. “You know how hard it is to get 18,000 people to scream when they feel like the team is just going to lose again?”

Interestingly, the Warriors also had a second mascot during the “Thunder” era, too:

As a part of its travels, the squad made regular appearances at Warriors games. During the 1996-97 season, the Warriors relocated to San Jose Arena while their facility in Oakland, now known as Oracle Arena, underwent renovations. The team tried to draw new fans — or at least distract the old ones from the on-court mess — by unveiling a mascot named Berserker, who did not exactly dazzle crowds. It was a brief experiment.

“Berserker died after one season,” said Brett Yamaguchi, the Warriors’ director of game operations.

Fuller felt obliged to help sell people on the team, he said, because the Warriors were not — how to put this mildly? — setting the region ablaze. He recalled running into the lobby of a bank near the team’s offices — in full costume, no less. That alone was a startling sight, and then Fuller opened his mouth and said, “This is a stickup!”

In hindsight, Fuller said, it was not the most judicious way to build a connection with the community.

“I was overzealous when I first got the job,” he said.

Nobody making a deposit that day recognized Thunder as an N.B.A. mascot. Most were under the impression that a less-than-sane person in a superhero outfit was attempting to rob the bank until Fuller backflipped out of the lobby while shouting, “Go Warriors!”

When Fuller returned to the team’s headquarters, he was met by several members of the team’s front office. They had received word of his marketing ploy.

“They were like, ‘Listen, it’s great that you’re doing everything with so much enthusiasm, but you can’t run into banks,’ ” Fuller said. “I was young. I didn’t get it.”

Thunder was often responsible for the game’s few highlights. He was like an action figure come to life. While the Warriors occupied themselves by bricking jump shots, Thunder spent timeouts soaring for dunks. The aesthetics of the costume itself were a stark departure from industry standards, and fans were receptive.

“He was sleek and muscular,” Yamaguchi said. “Up to that point, most teams had these mascots that were fluffy and huggable and kind of clumsy.”

Miami Heat’s ‘Bane James’ Has Some Fun At Own Expense

By Nick Margiasso IV

The sports world, and especially the South Beach faithful, held their collective breath momentarily Thursday night for Mr. Miami Heat. After taking a hard shot to the face on a drive (WHICH HE STILL FINISHED WITH A HIGHLIGHT DUNK DESPITE GETTING WHACKED!!!), LeBron James lay writhing in pain amidst a puddle of his own blood.

It was so bad that he left the game, heading for the locker room during the biggest game of the Heat’s season so far — done for the night. Uh oh.

Or not.

Fans, King James wants you to exhale … and laugh a bit while doing it.

Follow LeBron James on Twitter and on Instagram.

Russell Westbrook Mops The Floor With The Knicks

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERRussell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder mopped the floor with the New York Knicks yesterday. Literally.

VIDEO: Westbrook Mops Floor

(via TNLP)

Durant Channels His Inner LeBron

by Zettler Clay IV

It seems that LeBron James has done more than trigger the second largest winning streak in NBA history. He is also responsible for another trend, one that Kevin Durant ably followed (much to the delight of all parties involved) after a fan hit a half-court shot in OKC during the Trail Blazers-Thunder matchup Sunday night.


Can definitely dig the tribute from Durant, a buddy of James. But mostly, kudos to the fan for first running past the $20K check he won to get to his wife. Clearly, this is a smart man.

Horry Scale: Parker Sinks Thunder

By Jeff Case,

The creator of the Horry Scale, Micah Hart, has moved on from Still, his brainchild will live on. Now, only two days into the season, we have our first candidate of 2012-13 in Tony Parker.

For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game?), and celebration, and gives it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, who is kind of the patron saint of last-second clutchiness.

For longtime Spurs fans, it might have been sweeter than usual to see Parker nailing a game-winning jump shot, if only because it wasn’t all that long ago that many questioned if Parker could add a reliable jump shot to his dangerous dribble-drive game.

How does Mr. Parker’s shot Thursday stack up? Let’s take a look.


As mentioned above, this is a now-routine shot for Parker — which was something you couldn’t always say about his outside game. We’d rate this one a medium difficulty, though, seeing as how last season’s shotblocking king, Serge Ibaka, was in the neighborhood and wasn’t that far behind in getting a hand on the ball. The shot could have been a lot tougher, though, had OKC All-Star Russell Westbrook not gotten lost on the pass from Danny Green to Parker, something that Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith took Westbrook to task for on “Inside the NBA.”

Game Situation

Score tied at 84 with 5.9 seconds left. Parker had nailed a 3-pointer with 28.4 seconds left to tie the score and OKC had a chance to claim the lead, but Kevin Durant had the ball stolen by Kawhi Leonard as Durant came off a screen (in another play that Charles and Kenny didn’t like).


This was the second game of the season for San Antonio and OKC’s season-opener, so the importance would seem muted. There is, of course, the fact that these were the teams in last season’s West finals … and that OKC came back from an 0-2 hole to vanquish the Spurs … and that these squads remain among the West favorites again. This game adds another chapter to the overall lore of the rivalry and may end up mattering come season’s end. The importance factor, then, is semi-high with a chance of super-high later in the season.


Very Spurs-like: The always-loyal San Antonio fans go nuts, Parker lets out a celebratory yell, Tim Duncan gets him in a loving headlock, Stephen Jackson comes over to bask in the moment, coach Gregg Popovich has a look of “welp” on his face and the Spurs head giddily to the locker room . Perfectly matched to the importance of the game.


3½ Horrys. It’s a well-executed shot and Parker proves that his game has plenty of range. The rivalry factor with OKC colors things and the potential future impact of this game to the West hierarchy beefs up the rating from what it would be were it any other game or teams (it’d probably be like 2 stars, IMO, if that were the case).

What do you think?

Thunder Fans Have Lots Of Time On Their Hands, Honor Team With Corn Maze

by Micah Hart

From the fanbase that brought you the Thundermobile comes a new completely unnecessary, total waste of time yet still incredibly awesome corn maze tribute to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Via PBT:

As a Texas grad, I have a hard time not ribbing the residents of the state of Oklahoma, but it really does seem like they are desperate for things to do. I mean look at that thing. I can’t imagine what possessed the people responsible for this maze to do such a thing, but I sure am glad they did. I guess when you run the largest corn maze in ALL of Oklahoma, you have to constantly be striving for excellence to stay ahead of the competition.

I kid, but seriously. I want to go to there.

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Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Carmelo Anthony in Funny Commercials

by Micah Hart

Healthy debate going around the office today as to which of these two Foot Locker spots is better.

First up, Russell Westbrook and James Harden illustrate the many uses of tearaway clothing:

Next, Carmelo Anthony finds a way to enjoy all his sneakers at the same time:

Side note — Can you imagine how many Joe Johnsons Joe Johnson would have to hire to wear all his shoes?

So which is your favorite? I’m leaning towards the Westbrook/Harden joint myself (Harden’s deadpan look kills me every time), but I can still be swayed by opposing arguments.

H/T ESPN Playbook

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Get That Thundermobile You Always Wanted

by Micah Hart

When you own a 1996 Suzuki X-90, there are only so many things you can do to jazz it up. Some rims, a cool spoiler, maybe a Calvin and Hobbes decal, but that’s about it.

Not so fast, said Drew Hooper, who souped up his limited edition ride* by using it as a canvas to paint a mural in support of his hometown Thunder.

*Limited in the way that New Coke was limited edition as well, I’m assuming.

The excitement from driving around such a conspicuous ride appears to have worn off on Hooper however, who is now selling the vehicle on Craigslist. Well, either the excitement, or dealing with the fact that according to the ad, the driver’s side window doesn’t roll down and the A/C doesn’t work. Either way, the ride can be yours for a cool three stacks.

Check out more of the photos after the jump, and if you’re interested, shoot him an email. Not sure if he’s willing to consider interesting trades or not.


Top 10 Most Amusing Moments From The 2012 Playoffs

by Micah Hart

What a shortened, yet still very long, strange trip it’s been. In a season that felt like we inhaled on Christmas Day, only to exhale roughly two hours ago, I’m already counting down the days until we start this whole thing over again in November.

But before we start dreaming of a fresh start, let’s pause for a few moments to remember some of the fun and funny we had over the course of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which started somewhat slowly but picked up speed to the thrilling conclusion that was the Finals series between the victorious Heat and vanquished Thunder.

Here’s a look back at the 10 most amusing moments from the last seven weeks:

10. Amar’e channels Andy Bernard

The Knicks had a lot of hype at one point in the NBA season, but it all began to fall apart starting with a rash of injuries to the likes of Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert. At least their injuries occurred on the court though. Amar’e Stoudemire made headlines when he punched a fire-extinguisher case after Game 2 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Heat, causing a huge laceration and forcing the Knicks’ big man to miss the next game of an eventual 4-1 series defeat.

No one saw it happen, but I have to imagine it went something like this.

9. Spurs fan gets Matt Bonner haircut, gets suspended

In case you forgot, a Spurs fan got this shaved into the back of his head:

For doing so, he got suspended from school, which seems bad, until the Internet found out about it and the Spurs ended up invited him to a playoff game. Miss school AND see playoff basketball? BEST WEEK EVA! By the way, a month later, the kid did it again.

8. Metta World Peace being Metta World Peace

His playoff run may not have lasted long (one game against Denver and five against OKC), but that doesn’t mean Metta World Peace didn’t have time to make lasting contributions, including doing the local weather in Vancouver, being in Vancouver in the first place because he’s filming a movie there based on a novel by Nancy Freaking Grace, and unveiling his new superhero alter ego Metta Man:


Charles and Shaq Clown Shane Battier For His Purple Pants

by Micah Hart

If there has been an unsung star for the Heat in these playoffs (if anyone on the Heat can be called unsung), it would have to be Shane Battier, who has been absolutely lights-out from 3-point range the past few weeks and provided exactly the kind of offensive support so crucial to Miami’s Big Three at this late stage.

He joined the GameTime crew of Matt Winer, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal after Sunday’s big Game 3 win for the Heat, and after getting the particulars out of the way early on Shaq and Chuck only wanted to know one thing (around the 4:20 mark). What’s up with the purple pants, Shane?

Gotta give the guy credit for having the confidence required to wear those pants, but shooting 73% from distance in The Finals probably goes a long way in providing it.

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