• Mike Ciervo

The 8 Most Horrifying NBA Mascots of All Time

The hype of the new season always brings the same arguments: Who will rule the West, which players will bring home hardware at the end of the year, and how long until NBA superstar X has a mental breakdown during a preseason practice resulting in him screaming at management and demeaning his own teammates like a bunch of minor league bums? But one important factor of the NBA season that gets overlooked year after year by some of the greatest in our field like Woj, Stephen A., and Simmons, leaves us wondering “When will somebody give us an opinion on the most important topic every fan has on their mind?” We find ourselves screaming face to face, spitting all over one another about LeBron or Jordan, ’96 Bulls or ’17 Warriors (yeah, I said it, find me a team that could beat them) but we never ask ourselves the hardest question of all: Which NBA mascot scares us the most? Which furry freak of the hardcourt has made the most children cry or awkwardly groped the most women or left fans scarred so badly, years of therapy barely scratch the surface of the care they need? Today, we look at these pressing questions:

8. Benny the Bull

Benny looks friendly enough, all red and furry, a cross between Elmo, Ferdinand the bull, and Owen Wilson but don’t let those gentle mescaline-dilated pupils fool you, Benny is the stuff of nightmares. If the freshly spilled blood of an enemy blatantly splashed across the tips of his horns doesn’t convince you of Benny’s violent tendencies, here is more proof he’s a psychopath. From assaulting Lil’ Wayne with a broom to harassing Chrissy Teigen, to kidnapping an unknown woman; bottom line is Benny the Bull is a menace who probably belongs more on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry than entertaining the masses at the United Center, but the world is a twisted place. Makes sense, I guess; they still love R. Kelly in Chicago too.

7. Sam Dunk

Sam Dunk was the Clippers mascot for one season in 1985. Part potato, part burn victim, and another good candidate for the sex offender registry, Sam sort of reminds me of a racist old man in a Southern diner which is ironic since the Clippers were once owned by a racist old man. Something about him gives off this “I smell of old soup, and I don’t care” vibe. I’m beginning to think weird things scare me.

6. Mavs Man

The Mavericks already had a giant blue horse with vacant eyes only a mass murdering cult leader could have but sometime in between fostering a toxic misogynistic culture and becoming one of the worst teams in the league, the Mavs rolled out this freak of nature. What the hell is Mavs Man? A basketball fused with a human? A typical Dallas resident? The scariest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen? Not sure but Mavs Man reminds me of a character from a mid 90’s Trapper Keeper when everything had to be extreme and edgy but have a slight urban flavor as well. I hope Mark Cuban buried the employee who came up with this hellscape up to their neck in the Texas desert and let the ants eat their skull.

5. The Coyote

What happens when you cross Wile E. Coyote and a twenty bag of pharmaceutical grade meth? Why, you get THE Coyote. What is it with Texas basketball mascots? While Mavs Man is visually off putting, at least he doesn’t look like he’s been smoking rock with Pop all night, studying film and getting “really good” ideas on how to beat the Warriors. And what’s with the toupee like tuft of hair growing from in between his ears like the Ghost of Manu Ginobili? He’s already covered in hair!!! The Coyote looks like the guy you find hanging around a 7-11 at 3AM asking for loose change and cigarettes but more unpredictable and less clean. And he knows how to use a firearm. *Shudder*

4. Sir C.C.

Let’s never forget for one second that not only does C.C. Look like a living doll come to life but he also has a companion dog that walks on its hind legs. While people can speculate why LeBron has left Cleveland twice now, I’m willing to bet C.C played a large part in that decision. The gloves to leave no trace of his identity of the undoubtedly many murders he’s committed, the early 00’s screamo haircut, the seatbelt as a fashion accessory, the fact he wields a gigantic sword; the list goes on and on. And he’s from Cleveland. The list is extensive of what makes C.C one of the most terrifying mascots the world has ever known.

3. Hip Hop

The fact that for one second the Sixers thought that a six-foot muscular rabbit with a gaping moronic grin, clad with gas station sunglasses and a doo rag would not be scary, is just a testament of how off base the franchise was at one time. Hip Hop was the Sixers mascot during some of the darker years and while a Macho Man Randy Savage/rabbit hybrid should have been frightening enough in concept alone, it was not enough to keep Hip Hop from shattering the psyche of many, many Philadelphians. Much like drafting Markelle Fultz at number 1 or trading for the player formerly known as Andrew Bynum, the Sixers somehow thought this was a winning idea. Between the early Process days and allowing this nightmare creation loose in the Wells Fargo arena, it’s amazing the Sixers have any fans left at all.

2. The Brooklyn Knight

Maybe it’s the soulless eyes like he’s just been visited by the guy in black coat in the “Crossroads” video, maybe it’s the striking resemblance to the T-1000, maybe it’s cause the NBA insists on arming all its mascots, but whatever it is, it tells me the Brooklyn Knight made more kids cry than Mikhail Prokhorov. Not sure what “medieval robotic menace” has to do with basketball or the Nets but someone on Brooklyn’s PR team thought this was a good idea. Maybe it was the same person who suggested trading all those draft picks for KG and Paul Pierce?

1.King Cake Baby

From the crazy eyes to the diaper, King Cake Baby is by far the most terrifying mascot of all time. Besides making cheerleaders ride oversized off road tricycles like he’s starring in a David Lynch remake of Saw, King Baby is simply a gigantic freak of nature that needs to be removed from the planet like polio or smooth jazz. Imagine minding your own business walking around Smoothie King Center and out toddles this monstrosity? You’d be the one that needs the diaper, am I right? The Pelican with the penis nose was frightening enough and then they rolled out this thing sent straight from the depths of mascot Hell. And you thought Benny the Bull was bad.

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