Even though the NBA finals are over for the year and the Golden State Warriors have taken the crown, we wanted to keep the basketball talk going. And while the players and their on and off court antics can be entertaining, the mascots are a timeless part of any team.
While big name stars and position players come and go from NBA teams, the mascots are here to stay. Sometimes being replaced by updated versions of themselves, and in the rare occasion being replaced altogether, typically a team’s mascot lasts a lot longer than many of the players.
The job of the mascot is to provide an extra level of entertainment for the crowd, and in some cases, go the extra mile to show off their physical skills. Certain mascots have been known to tumble and flip during timeouts and half time shows, while other mascots simply entertain the children in their section.
Whatever basketball team you cheer for you’re probably aware of the mascot, and you may be bias and think your mascot is the best. Thankfully we know who the best mascot in the NBA world is, and you’d be hard pressed to sway us to believe anything else. And since the number one spot is already determined we wanted to see who else we thought would make up the top 5.
Top 5 NBA Basketball Team Mascots
5. Utah Jazz – Jazz Bear
Most of the time it’s the person inside the suit that really gives the mascot its personality, so when long time suit wearer Jon Absey was let go in 2018 things changed a bit for the Jazz Bear. His no fear attitude over the course of almost 800 home games made him a favorite amongst NBA mascots. He would do things that no other mascot would ever dare trying.
And while his antics were highly celebrated, they took a toll on his body over the years and started to worry management as time went on.
But due to the immense talent and fearlessness, the Utah Jazz Bear definitely deserves a spot in our top five.
4. The Raptor – Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors’ mascot has had some tough times over the years. In 2013 he missed the entire season due to tearing his Achilles tendon while performing for a children’s school before the season had even started.
And then in January of this year Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker threw a fit when The Raptor was jumping and waving his arms around behind the basket while Booker was trying to shoot free throws.
Normally this wouldn’t have been an issue, but due to COVID restrictions in place at the time, there were no fans in the stands, so The Raptor was distracting enough that he was banished to the sidelines after the complaint by Booker.
The fact that just having the mascot in the background of shot can cause a player to complain and have him banished to the sidelines is reason enough to have The Raptor on this list. We may be crazy, but if a single person can distract Devin Booker more than a crowd full of people, then maybe he should work on some different free throw shooting techniques.
3. Burnie – Miami Heat
If you’ve ever wondered what a 7’6” “human” depiction of a flame coming off the back of a basketball would be, then look no further than Burnie, the mascot for the Miami Heat.
While he does look more like a giant chicken creature with a basketball for a nose, Burnie is the lifelike representation of the Heat logo. He’s been hyping up the crowd in Miami for over 32 years and is just so strange looking that we had to include him in this list.
2. The Coyote – San Antonio Spurs
Since 1983 the Coyote has been entertaining the fans in San Antonio as the mascot for the Spurs. He was actually voted the 2nd
worst NBA mascot by a survey run by Play AZ
, but we’re guessing it’s because of how creepy he looks.
Despite what that survey may say, he has been voted best mascot in the NBA twice by his fellow mascots. He’s super athletic and partakes in many dance numbers, skits, as well as acrobatic acts during the games and off the court for children and schools.
And while he may have super weird looking eyes and the face that almost looks like it’s a Halloween costume from amazon, we find this mascot to be one of the greats.
1. Benny the Bull – Chicago Bulls
If you thought there was going to be any other mascot at the top of the list, you must have been dreaming. I know we’re a little bias because our headquarters is located just outside of Chicago, but if you’ve ever been to a Bulls game in the last 30+ years then you know exactly why Benny the Bull takes our number one spot on this list.
He’s extremely athletic, he’s hysterical, and his crowd work is second to none. Benny became extremely popular during the Bulls dynasty during the early 90’s but continues to amaze crowds today.
There’s just something about this guy that is so charismatic and likeable that I think regardless of which team you’re rooting for, everyone is rooting for Benny.