Jazz Bear, the creatively named mascot for the Utah Jazz, sustained a painful fall. When this happened is not readily identifiable (even though it’s probably not new, none of us had ever seen it before) — though, since the shot clock reads 35, perhaps it occurred in the 2013 NCAA Tournament? — and neither is the intent. In any event this is at least the third time Jazz Bear’s man parts have taken a beating in his act. That’s dedication to the job.
CBSSports.com NBA Writer James Herbert talked to Lopez after the game to find out more about his run-in with the Raptor: Where does the Raptor rank on your least favorite mascots list? Robin Lopez: He’s up there. He’s putting himself up there. Right now, I think he and Hooper from Detroit, they’re in the top tier. They’re really on my enemies list. What happened tonight? Robin Lopez: He was taunting me during warmups. He never got up the courage to actually go after me, but I can tell he was thinking it over in his head.
Franklin will be the third mascot in Sixers franchise history, after Hip-Hop and the long-departed Big Shot — a fuzzy blue cousin of the Phanatic. He is part of an effort by the Sixers new-ish owners, who bought the team in 2011, to amp up the in-arena experience. They invested in one of those cool 3-D courts, resurrected one of the all-time campy team theme songs in sports, revamped the dance team, and finally replaced Hip-Hop. A cynic might point out that a franchise in Year 2 of an unprecedented multiyear tanking scheme is exactly the sort of franchise that should distract fans with wizardry, but the magical mascoting world is no place for cynicism. We are now down to five teams that lack a mascot: the Nets, Clippers, Knicks, Lakers, and Warriors.
Arash Markazi: Matt Barnes just swatted away a halfcourt shot from the OKC mascot. DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes high-five afterwards.
In what has to be one of the top five Sixers stories of the season, the team will be unveiling a brand new mascot February 10 at the Franklin Institute. The pressure is on. This is the organization’s first big dramatic mascot mystery since the introduction of the Delaware 87ers’ “Exploding Question Mark Head.”
Denver’s favorite mountain lion is in the doghouse. Unbeknownst to the Denver Nuggets organization, mascot Rocky was at the Colorado Republican rally Monday and evidently didn’t check with his bosses at Kroenke Sports Enterprises about it. 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.”
Zach Lowe: Actual news: Nets have informed their mascot he will not return next season, may place Brooklyn Knight character on hiatus…or worse. To be clear: this is not about the person who plays the mascot. Hearing this is about dissatisfaction with the Knight character.
Along with the return of the Hornets name, Hugo will also return as the team’s mascot. But before Rufus joins other retired mascots – the Seattle SuperSonics’ Squatch, Montreal Expos’ Screech, and Atlanta Thrashers’ Trash, among others – the Bobcats released a retirement video.
Doug Russell: Wishing the BEST mascot in sports, Kevin “Bango” Vanderkolk, the very best in retirement. Tonight is his last game. pic.twitter.com/8EWzS7gtKZ
Rajon Rondo wasn’t in the Celtics lineup Monday against the Bulls, but he did manage to stay engaged during Boston’s 94-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Rondo joined the telecast as color commentator, providing analysis, insight, and popcorn everywhere.
Well, that sounds pretty intriguing, but a Nets insider dismissed the rumor. “Someone is spreading nasty rumors,” said the insider. “He is here to stay!!!”
Are the Nets going to re-design their mascot? It’s not clear yet, but on Grantland writer Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post” podcast, he drops a potentially juicy nugget about the future of the Brooklyknight — and a big star that might re-design it. At around 52:30 in the podcast (listen here), Lowe says he’s heard (but not quite confirmed) that the Nets have considered a re-design for their universally panned mascot, and have reached out to late night television host Jimmy Fallon for his input (along with Marvel Comics) on a new look.
The NBA’s favourite mascot returned to the hardwood Sunday, showing no sign of the injury that had kept him out all season. After tearing his Achilles while doing back flips at a pre-season event in Halifax last fall, the Raptor spent 5 ½ months watching from the sidelines and undergoing gruelling rehab. But the much-beloved Dino was back at the Air Canada Centre Sunday afternoon for Toronto’s win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Kevin Vanderkolk, the man who plays the Milwaukee Bucks’ mascot, Bango, is stepping down at the end of the season, a team source said. Vanderkolk, who could not be reached for comment, will finish out this season. The Bucks are expected to begin a search to find a new Bango.
The Raptor is coming back. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey broke the news Friday that the team’s injured mascot would return soon. “We have a personnel guy returning. The Raptor is coming back March 23rd,” Casey said before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies. “He won’t be full strength, but he will be back. I wanted to make that injury announcement.”
15 Feb 14
Here’s some wholesome, family entertainment from last night’s Washington-Memphis game. Grizzlies mascot, “Super Grizz,” powerbombed a Wizards bro through a table.
Credit the New Orleans Pelicans for devising a clever way to rid themselves of what many perceive to be a terrible mascot problem. Even if just about everybody paying attention saw right through their ruse to completely re-design the terrifying Pierre the Pelican mascot in the days leading up to New Orleans’ hosting of the 2014 NBA All-Star weekend.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ mascot is getting a makeover. The team announced Monday that Pierre the Pelican will have reconstructive surgery for “a broken beak,” which it reportedly suffered after running into a basket stanchion during a game with other mascots. […] Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported on Jan. 22 that New Orleans would re-design the mascot’s head to make it “less scary.” The Pelicans unveiled Pierre on Oct. 30, 2013, the team’s first game as the Pelicans.