Power Ranking Every NBA Team's Mascot

Andy Liu@@AndyKHLiuCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2013

Power Ranking Every NBA Team's Mascot

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    In the lull of the NBA season, there might be better things to do than to watch another New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats game. Unless you're a Denver Nuggets or Miami Heat fan, the end of an extremely and unnecessarily long regular season can cause one to start to lose his or her interests. 

    Sure, the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers' fans are battling for playoff spots, but it's likely they'll all get in. 

    With that being said, what better way to perk up interests than an in-depth, blow-by-blow analysis of every team's mascot? OK, perhaps that's a bit ambitious and not really doable. Who would want to read 200 words on every single animal, anyway?

    There isn't a specific criteria as to how the rankings were determined, but keep in mind the name of the mascot, their relevance to the team name and the color arrangement/design of the suit. OK, so maybe there is a criteria, no matter how ambiguous it is.

    There's always these guys to keep you entertained as well.  

    From 1-30, I subjectively/objectively rank the best mascots in the league.


New York Knicks

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    There's no Knickerbocker mascot. Maybe if there was one, they'd break down and get injured because of old age or some random injury. 

    The closest non-player person associated with the Knicks is Spike Lee, and he's become a bit of an obnoxious dude on the sideline. Even his movies haven't been very good, lately. 

    Kudos to him going to every single game, no one doubts him as a true hardcore fan, but the lack of a true mascot with an awes

Brooklyn Nets

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    Name: BrooklyKnight

    This might be the saddest thing any sane person has ever seen.

    I think Jay-Z and company were going for a Dark Knight/Batman rendition and got something between the Scary Movie franchise and a parodic band of superheroes. The “armor” and shield looked fake and plastic-like and it didn’t help that the mascot wasn’t very tall.

    Toss in the oddly short cape that resembles something like a dress and perhaps Mikhail Prokhorov can buy an actual Batman next year.


Golden State Warriors

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    The Warriors used to have someone named "Thunder" as their mascot, but he's since left because of the Oklahoma City name. If they still had him, they'd easily rank in the top 10, with potential for the top spot. How can one argue against this picture?

    They are now more known for their sleevesies or jerseys with sleeves that they've worn three times this season. Without someone who has a body built like a Greek god, it's tough to make it work. 

    Maybe LeBron in 2014?

Utah Jazz

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    Name: Jazz Bear

    The guy simply looks terrifying. Why in the world is he riding a motorcycle and doing flips?

    That's pretty awesome stuff and essential to what one wants in their mascot, but I'm not sure anyone knows what a Jazz actually looks like. I guess Utah comes close, but the bear doesn't really resemble the a Salk Lake City animal. 

    Awesome gadgets, but not enough superficial resemblance to get out of the cellar.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Name: Moondog

    Named after former Cleveland disc-jockey Alan Freed, the Moondog represents the “Rock & Roll” age that sparked the music generation of the 1950s. The Moondog is termed as the mascot that embodies everything that the free-loving Freed stood for.

    This is a pretty neat backstory but it probably gets lost amongst the current generations of fans that care more about The Decision than music in the mid-1900s.

    Unfortunately, this is a neat idea in theory but relatively tough to execute with its current fan base.

L.A. Clippers

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    No mascot here. 

    For a team so absurdly bad for so long, you'd think that they would have someone take a edge off in the middle of another 30-point loss in the middle of the season. 

    The only reason they aren't dead last is because there is no way to judge a mascot that isn't there, and I can't punish them for that. Plus, when you've now got Lob City and Chris Paul manning a Western Conference contender, we'll cut them a bit of slack. 

Dallas Mavericks

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    Name: Mavs Man and Champ

    The Dallas Mavericks apparently feel the need to toss in two mediocre mascots to combat the lack of one awesome dude. Naming him Mark Cuban would probably be a smart first step.

    Instead, we have the Mavs Man that looks like he just stepped out of a Hellboy comic, with comical basketball stripes on his arms and enormous white teeth. Then we have the Champ who is apparently a person with a head of a Maverick. Or even a Maverick with a body of a person.

    Whatever is happening between the two mascots, there isn’t enough substance to put them in the top 15.

Detroit Pistons

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    Name: Hooper

    That is an extremely weird video where a kid rides the horse because the horse "breaks" the electrical version of him. 

    I can't support the hair and the colors, but I can support the creativity. Keep hooping, Hooper.

Miami Heat

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    Name: Burnie

    This will be what Burnie is forever known for. 

    Oh, you didn't know? He's also a frog-like thing that appears to honk for Dwyane Wade. I get that you don't have to put much thought into something that only distracts from the attraction at hand, but is there no accountability?! (sarcasm)

    For a team that is on the verge of its third straight finals appearance, no more honking and forcing women to dance, please.

L.A. Lakers

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    No name. 

    Everyone knows Jack Nicholson, everyone loves Jack Nicholson. Even through the Lakers' struggles this season, he's sat courtside and watched Kobe Bryant jack up 30-plus shots with no abandon. 

    The guy loves his team, but a storied franchise like the Lakers should amuse fans like us who enjoy breaking down the in-depth "going-ons" about fake furry animals. 

Houston Rockets

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    Name: Clutch 

    That's a really fat—even by mascot standards—bear on a motorcycle. A bear also has nothing to do with a Rocket. I told you there were an unconscious amount of bears and big animals in the NBA

    Another mascot that makes no sense in relation to the team name. 

    But hey, just hop on YouTube for a fun time! 

    Any mascot can be funny and do fun-loving things, but it's the makeup of the costume that leaves Clutch in the lower tier of "mascot-ness."

Indiana Pacers

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    Name: Boomer

    I have no words. 

    From the color schemes to the "cat-ness" of the thing, there's just no reason for this to happen. I could understand if they were called the Indiana Kittens or Indiana Catwomen, but the whiskers?

    When I think Pacers, I think of grittiness, Ron Artest, Reggie Miller, I don't know—anyone except a kitten.

    At least they tried.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    This is the actual mascot picture of Grizz.

    A really large Grizzly, dog-like creature that actually fits the team' grit-n-grind motto pretty well. It's buff, hairy and seemingly down and dirty. 

    On a team with Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen, the bear fits nicely into the Grizzlies' motto. However, it's tame design and comically large physique limits its luster. 

    Looks like we're getting to the good parts of the world of NBA mascots.

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Name: Blaze the Trail Cat

    Take away the essence of the name—its actual team name—along with the mascot head, and this is a winner. A trail cat? What is a trail cat? Not sure, but it sounds like something that you try to hunt, but are forever unable to find. 

    Blaze sounds like the double-edged light saber that Darth Maul used in Star Wars. However great the name is, it loses its power when we find out that the Blazers are in fact, manned by a cat. 

    Toss in another animal that doesn't fit the team name.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Name: Hip Hop

    OK, there isn't a current Sixers mascot, I went back in a time machine (to last year) and found a bunny mascot with a bandanna and shades. I was tempted to put this in the top ten, but the realization of its existence, or lack thereof, put a cramp to that notion. 

    Bring back Hip Hop, Philly.

Atlanta Hawks

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    Name: Harry the Hawk

    I have a weak spot for cute-looking birds, but this one doesn't really work. The Hawk has been with the team since 1985, but the weird black talons on the arms contrast with the rest of the outfit. 

    The beak resembles an actual hawk, and that's what keeps it in the middle of the pack.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Name: Crunch

    Sounds like a cereal. A fruity Trix-like, sweet-tasting cereal, too. Toss in a bit of milk and we've got something going. 

    Nope, it's a wolf, apparently. On a team with Kevin Love's beard, Ricky Rubio's hair and Nikola Pekovic's everything, this actually fits quite neatly into the team persona. 

    The furry suit distinguishes it from the rest of the bear outfits in the NBA. 

    It does look a little too happy and not menacing enough to reach the top 10. However, it does have extreme potential with room to grow. It's kind of like Rubio's offensive game.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Name: Rumble

    No one knows what a "Thunder" is. I guess one can foresee a Flash-type creature that has a big lightning bolt across its chest, but that's a bit gimmicky. 

    This lion/bear/wolverine thingy is as menacing as a ferocious Russell Westbrook transition dunk. Oh, it's a bison?

    No matter, Westbrook is not one for mascots, anyway.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Name: Rufus D. Lynx

    When a team ran by the greatest player of all time is unable to put together a winning season—sub-.500—it takes pride in its mascot. It appears the Bobcats have done so, making the Rufus the lion look as comically funny as possible. 

    The bright orange fur combined with the shades and sneaky devil grin has this in the upper echelon of mascot like-ability.

    Add in a couple more wins and we might have something going here.

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Name: Bango

    Apparently, he is a frog masked as a deer with antlers masked as a mascot masked as a Christmas tree. No, really, that's a lot of colors. 

    The antlers pretty much make this mascot who he is. Without them, we'd be looking at another bear amongst the other couple thousand in the NBA. 

    While it isn't necessarily a deer, which is what a Buck is, a bear with antlers will suffice. 

    Imagination, people.

Chicago Bulls

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    Name: Benny the Bull

    It's the devilish antlers that win here. The Chicago Bulls jersey is gorgeous by itself, a stunning red with laces of black covering the outlines. Toss that on a fuzzy angry-looking, yet still cuddly, creature and we've got someone that everyone will love. 

    The unibrow is a deal-breaker, as well. Subtle, but effective. Eat your heart out, Anthony Davis.

Sacramento Kings

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    Name: Slamson

    The Sacramento Kings really hit the nail on the coffin on their mascot. It owns a certain Narnia/Aslan-esquefeature that renders it irresistible.

    The majestic feel and touch of the beard and color does have a emperor-type look. I'm not sure if that was what the team was going for, but it does the job quite nicely. 

    The site states that Slamson takes catnaps, generates 12 million smiles a year and is a league leader in hugs. What’s not to like?

Phoenix Suns

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    Name: Go, The Suns Gorilla

    We are now in the elite category, Joe Flacco-style, and the top nine starts with a bang—a gorilla. 

    Mascot promoters: forget about suns, let's just toss in a gorilla in a Phoenix jersey. 

    Phoenix management: Umm, but how will Michael Beasley's corpse look in comparison?

    Mascot promoters: Did you really sign him?

    Phoenix management: ...

    OK, fine, that conversation never happened, and this isn't about the team they put on the floor. The gorilla is menacing and here to stay.

Boston Celtics

24 of 30

    Name: Lucky the Leprechaun 

    Finally! A mascot that fits everything the team stands for and looks like. The mascot has no costume, no suit, just a little makeup and a leprechaun outfit. 

    Oh, and he jumps off trampolines. 


New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans

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    Name: Hugo

    Nearly cracking the top five is the New Orleans' mascot, Hugo, which is a big furry Hornet. The wings on the side combined with the different shading of colors are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

    The middle is much larger than the whole, like a real insect, but it's the non-threatening way he walks around that makes it work. You may hate cuddling, but this guy can single-handedly change your mind. 

    The only problem? They'll have to re-do the whole thing when they are renamed the Pelicans next season.

San Antonio Spurs

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    Name: The Coyote

    The Spurs and coyotes, one and the same, really—or not. Seemingly unrelated, coyotes are also plentiful in states like Texas. Not as absurd as we thought!

    Look at those eyes, though. Peer closely enough and you may fall into an abyss you may never get out of. Or in other words, trying to defend a Tim Duncan-Tony Parker pick-and-roll. 

    To top it off, the boxing gloves and his agape mouth really puts it all together.

Orlando Magic

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    Mascot: Stuff the Magic Dragon

    The Magic Dragon also has resurrection powers. Straight out of a children's version of Game of Thrones—where there is no nudity, no killing and tons of dragons—the Magic Dragon sort of reminds people of a blue Barney with his large midsection. 

    The flaring nose and clown shoes make him all the more likeable. Mesh in his own official page and we have a winner! Mascot-wise, not team-wise.

Washington Wizards

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    Name: G-Man and G-Wiz

    Just one of these guys would be good enough for a top five standing. But two? Now that's perfect. The G-Man is the yin to the G-Wiz's yang—or the Hansel to his Gretel, the Bonnie to his Clyde. We can go on and on. 

    Breaking down each one, the G-Wiz is nothing special—just another furry creature that does the same old stuff, all while looking adorable. 

    As for the G-Wiz, there's an inordinate amount of muscle on this guy. He even wears a headband and basketball shoes, so he's apparently like a real basketball player. 

    Toss them both together and it's a marriage made in heaven, unlike the actual brand of basketball on the court. 


Toronto Raptors

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    Name: Raptor

    The Raptors mascot is a Raptor. Now that is how you name your lovable crowd-pleaser. The Raptor also took part in one of the greatest gifs of all time. 

    The only thing that would make this better is if he said "about" with a Canadian accent.

Denver Nuggets

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    Name: Rocky

    It was a tough decision between the Raptor and Rocky but the Nuggets' mascot eventually wore the Raptor down in the 15th round, scoring a knockout as he yelled to the crowd "ADRIAAAAN." Oh, this isn't boxing?

    Back to the mascot, when your guy has the prowess to troll Russell Westbrook, who himself is also a master troll, you deserve massive kudos. 

    Game, set, troll on, Rocky.