As with other sports, NBA mascots can be either a harmless diversion of an unwelcome distraction at an arena. Let’s rank them from worst to best.
In the macro, sports mascots have very little bearing on the fans’ in-stadium/arena experience. If you’re at a game and you’re being suffocated by the smog of the most obnoxious, self-aggrandizing spectators or if the game you’re watching causes your eyelids to get a little heavier, a person dancing around in an oversized animal suit isn’t going to make the proceedings significantly more palatable.
But if you’re already having a good time at the game, an entertaining mascot can be the smooth, sweet icing on that moist, delectable cake. Derived from the French term “mascotte”, which translates to lucky charm in English, mascots are the physical embodiment of a team’s superficial identity.
Except for self-serious franchises like the New York Yankees — who also make their player shave their beards because who needs individuality in a game where guys hit balls with sticks and other guys try to catch those balls with oversized gloves — or the New York Knicks, mascots have become as ingrained into the sports ecosystem as any other mid-timeout reprieve that holds the crowd’s attention, at least the ones who didn’t leave their seat for an overpriced hot dog.
But which NBA mascots are the best? Theoretically, you wouldn’t think there was much of a difference between them since they all ostensibly serve the same purpose, but a great mascot can boost an already wonderful day or night at the game.
On the other hand, a terrible one can dissuade patrons from returning. Hopefully, this list will shine a light on which mascots fit into either of those categories.