NBA Teams

29 NBA Mascots Ranked From Worst To Best

By Abhay Acharya / 5 December 2023 10:34 AM

Source : instagram

The NBA is famous for its high-flying dunks, fast-paced action, and many talented athletes. NBA Mascots are another element that adds excitement to the game.

Mascot, meaning "lucky charm," is a longstanding tradition in sports. It is of French origin and is implied to bring good fortune to whatever it symbolizes.

Being an NBA mascot isn't an easy job, as they must uplift the crowd's energy and entertain the fans continuously, all while in a great, however uncomfortable, outfit.

From Boston Celtics' Lucky the Leprechaun to the Phoenix Sun's Go the Gorilla, NBA mascots deliver an entertaining and playful vibe to the match that all ages fans love.

As of 2023, 26 of 30 NBA teams have one or two mascots of their own. While 23 out of 26 NBA teams have a single mascot each, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Wizards have two mascots each.

29 - The Mavs Man

Source : twitter

  • Team - Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs Man, an armored character, was with the team during their 2011 NBA Final win.

Before the 2022-23 season, the Mavs Man wore a Spiderman-like basketball orange-theme tight bodysuit with the Mavericks' uniform. He resembled part man, part basketball character.

The current Mavs Man is a complete makeover with an armored suit and mask, looking like a knock-off Power Ranger.

The mascot is known for its athletic dunks during the Mavericks' home games and appears on the court along with the club's second mascot, Champ.

While the Mavs Man tries to bring joy and excitement to the game and fans, many find his appearance haunting, which might be one of the reasons he is ranked last in the NBA.

28 - Sir C.C.

Source : twitter

  • Team - Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Debut - 27 November 2010

Sir C.C. is the Cavaliers' official mascot that has been around supporting the team throughout history. He is an authentic presentation of wine and gold.

Since the 1970-71 season, the 17th-century English Civil War soldier, CC, has been a Cavs fan who can be seen at every home game, cheering for the club and energizing the fans.

Besides entertaining the fans on the court, CC makes active community stops throughout Northeast Ohio to interact with Cavs supporters and share his love for basketball.

Sir C.C. is a swashbuckler character, like the Three Musketeers, who debuted during the matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cavs.

CC ranks among the last in the NBA mascots ranking, primarily due to the confusion among Cavs fans regarding his origin and the meaning behind it.

27 - Moondog

Source : facebook

  • Team - Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Debut - 5 November 2003

Moondog has one of the most unique names in the NBA mascot world. He has a distinctive connection to the Cavaliers alongside the entire Cleveland.

The mascot is named after DJ Allan Freed, a famous Cleveland DJ who forged the phrase "Rock and Roll." He used the term, referring to himself as the Moondog.

The mascot is a perfect accolade for a city renowned for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Moondog performs during the Cavs home games and has a mastery over the behind-the-back half-court shots.

Moondog portrays the character of a loyal hound of Sir C.C. in the club, entertains the fans, and adds spice to the game in the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

26 - Slamson The Lion

Source : facebook

  • Team - Sacramento Kings
  • Debut - 1994

The NBA franchise's official mascot, Slamson the Lion, is a play on the name Samson, referencing the biblical hero.

The mascot is a powerful-looking lion with a wise, older look on its face and long flowing fur. Referred to as the king of the jungle, it perfectly represents the Sacramento Kings in contrast to their previous mascot, a Gorilla.

In contrast to the 1997 look, Slamson looks more realistic and has an emperor presence on the court, receiving the honor of the NBA's Most Valuable Cat 12 times.

Making a debut in the fall of 1994, Slamson was formed as part of the rebranding effort of the team. He has since been a fan-favorite member of the Kings, bringing enthusiasm and energy to the stands and the court.

25 - Lucky The Leprechaun

Source : instagram

  • Team - Boston Celtics
  • Debut - 29 October 2003

Lucky the Leprechaun is a tribute to the Irish heritage of the club and the historically huge Irish population of Boston. 

This green-clad Leprechaun is among the rare human mascots in sports with a shamrock on his famous bowler hat.

The Celtics logo is perhaps among the most famous logo in the NBA. Lucky has been part of the franchise for over 50 years as a logo.

The mascot debuted during a matchup between the Miami Heat and the Celtics, bringing good luck to the club in a 98-75 victory.

While Damon Lee Blust played the character of Lucky at its debut, Kristofer "Kit" Achermann has been playing the mascot since 2010.

24 - Franklin The Dog

Source : twitter

  • Team - Philadelphia 76ers
  • Debut - 10 February 2015

The official mascot of the 76ers, Franklin the Dog, made his first appearance to 400 fans and media at the Franklin Institute.

As the newest mascot, he spent a weekend in New York City for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game before being introduced at the Wells Fargo Center.

Franklin debuted at the 76ers home court on 19 February 2015 and recorded about 100 appearances in his first year around the Delaware Valley area.

The mascot entertained fans of all ages with his amusing comedic antics, warm and cuddly kid-friendly nature, dunking skills on the trampoline, and awesome dance moves.

23 - Rumble The Bison

Source : instagram

  • Team - Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Debut - 17 February 2009

Rumble the Bison is among the toughest-looking, athletic, and fierce NBA mascots with long-shaggy brown hair, two strong horns, and a menacing face.

The mascot, being the Oklahoma City Thunder's embodiment, was awarded the NBA Mascot of the Year award in 2009. His name is derived from the sound that makes thunder.

This anthropomorphic Bison debuted as the halftime show part during the matchup between the New Orleans Hornets and the Oklahoma City.

The mascot is well-known for banging a bass drum at the beginning of each home game to excite the crowds. He can play drums of all sizes on numerous occasions.

22 - Grizz

Source : instagram

  • Team - Memphis Grizzlies
  • Dubut - 1995

The real-life Grizzlies like Grizz was named the NBA Mascot of the Year in 2011.

Grizz debuted as the mascot for the Vancouver Grizzlies, which was renamed in 2001 when the team relocated to Memphis, Tennessee.

The mascot has a half-werewolf, half-bear vibe, making a stand on the court in his fuzzy, long, dark, gray fur that is so well done it almost feels real.

He performs acts like jumping through fiery hoops and can be spotted in his superhero-inspired yellow and blue suit as his alter-ego, Super Grizz, when not in his Memphis Grizzlies uniform.

21 - Crunch The Wolf

Source : instagram

  • Team - Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Debut - 2003

Crunch the Wolf is among the best-looking mascots in basketball, with an amusing backstory of being born in the northernmost part of the Minnesota forest.

He grew up loving basketball, and as a young pup, he refined his game with a makeshift basket of birch bark and pine cones.

Crunch has amusing antics and a witty sense of humor that energizes the fans during the Timberwolves home games. This white and gray-furred Wolf was named the NBA Mascot of the Year in 2012.

The mascot has a set of big green eyes and a mean mug on his face, representing the Timberwolves' tenacious nature.

20 - Jazz Bear

Source : instagram

  • Team - Utah Jazz
  • Debut - 1994

Jazz Bear is a hairy bear with a brown fur head and a general brown body that made his debut appearance iconic by descending from a platform extending high above the court.

He has since increased his stunts' intensity and completed 15,000+ hours of community service, enacted at more than 500 home games, and suffered several injuries while executing.

The mascot has helped entertain the fans at EnergySolutions Arena and get the players pumped up before games. He was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006.

He was named the NBA Mascot of the Year in 2006, 2008, and 2018 and has received more than 50 awards for community service.

19 - Pierre The Pelican

Source : facebook

  • Team - New Orleans Pelicans
  • Debut - 30 October 2013

Pierre the Pelican got the name from fans through the team's website online poll. His traditional design scared several fans, which was redesigned in 2014 to look more appealing to children.

This huge cartoon-like Pelican with a massive yellow beak mascot's debut included a matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Pelicans.

The redesign in 2014 had a backstory of Pierre breaking his beak during a practice ahead of the NBA All-Star Game.

The mascot is often seen wearing the Pelicans shorts and jersey, entertaining the fans, and performing the stunts during games.

18 - Burnie

Source : instagram

  • Team - Miami Heat
  • Debut - 1992

Burnie is a fireball's rough depiction and is the NBA mascot, which has a wacky look and is quite tricky to identify as an orange and red ball of fire.

Many mistake the mascot to look like some form of bird, like a Dodo. If looked closely, Burnie's nose can be noticed to be a giant green basketball.

This 7 feet 6 inches tall mascot is known to fire up the Heat fans with its fun-loving energy.

Regardless of the looks, however, this mascot has been in the league for over 32 years and is among fan favorites, primarily due to its dance moves.

In addition to enthusiasm and high energy in the court, Burnie is part of the club's community outreach endeavors, visiting hospitals and schools to spread positivity and cheer.

17 - Champ

Source : twitter

  • Team - Dallas Mavericks
  • Debut - 2009

Champ is the other mascot of the Mavericks besides the Mavs Man. The mascot has served the franchise as a blue stallion horse since its debut.

The mascot is an anthropomorphic horse with a white fluffy mane over his head and tail and a blue-furred body. He wears a basketball jersey with a symbol of a horseshoe on the front.

Champ actively involves itself in the community and is often spotted around several charity events and shows.

He entertains the fans and spices up the game at the American Airlines Center during the Mavericks' home games as a part of a duo, incorporating Mavs Man.

The mascot had been around entertaining the fans and pumping up the team during the Mavericks 2011 NBA Final win against the Miami Heat.

16 - Blaze The Trail Cat

Source : twitter

  • Team - Portland Trailblazers
  • Debut - 2002

Blaze the Trail Cat is a silver-colored, two-tone mountain lion representing the Trailblazers and is the franchise's first-ever mascot in NBA history.

Blaze the Trail Cat is a modern-styled alley-cat-like lion with silver fur, flames for a tail, and a heart-shaped nose. 

He falls among the most recognizable mascots in the NBA and is well-designed, leading to becoming the Portland Trailblazers' best representative.

His origin story depicts him being born in the Oregon Cascade's towering pines, with unique silver two-toned fur ears.

He is the Trailblazers' biggest supporter and pumps up the team during each home game at Moda Center.

15 - Clutch The Bear

Source : twitter

  • Team - Houston Rockets
  • Debut - 14 March 1995

Clutch the Bear was introduced during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Being a plain-looking mascot, Clutch is among the famous mascots in the NBA, with several awards as the league's top mascot over the years.

He was named after the moniker "Clutch City," given to the Rockets' by the local media after their first NBA Championship win in the 1993-94 season.

In February 2005, USA Today ranked Clutch the Rockets Bear as the 5th-most recognizable mascot in sports.

Cutch was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006. He was named the NBA Mascot of the Year twice in 2005 and 2013.

14 - Hooper

Source : instagram

  • Team - Detroit Pistons
  • Debut - 1 November 1996

Hooper the Horse is among the prevalent NBA mascots. He has been serving the Pistons, replacing Sir Slam A Lot.

Unlike the Dallas Mavericks' Champ, Hooper has a cartoony style and a colorful mane, with a dark red and blue palette.

He usually appears on the court as a horse wearing a Pistons jersey. He became the franchise's most famous mascot in a short time.

Hooper has been with the Pistons for over 25 years and partakes in the club's Flight Crew alongside his mascot duties.

As a Flight Crew member, Hooper performs stunts like acrobatics, tumbling, and trampoline dunking during the Pistons games' halftimes and timeouts.

He is also known to practice some crazy stunts like skydiving and stilt-walking, alongside traveling with the Crew to schools across Michigan.

13 - G. Man

Source : instagram

  • Team - Washington Wizards

G. Man is a large, blue man with a skinsuit and fake muscle. The mascot isn't much creative in the NBA but is among the brightest in the league.

G. Man is known for performing high-flying dunks and stunts. Representing the Wizards at the Capital One Arena, G. Man wears the team jersey over a blue body suit with muscles, illustrating fake biceps and abs.

G. Man performs several stunts on and off the court and tries to entertain the fans and pump up the game at home alongside G. Wiz, the Wizards' other mascot.

12 - G-Wiz

Source : instagram

  • Team  - Washington Wizards
  • Debut - 1997

G-Wiz is a magical wizard-like creature, representing the Wizards as its mascot alongside G-Man.

G-Wiz wears a cape, a Wizards jersey, and a visor while performing at the Capital One Arena. He is among the franchise's most recognizable mascots and is the fan favorite.

He has a goofy, friendly personality and can often be spotted pumping up the crowd and entertaining the fans during home games.

G-Wiz's debut incorporated the Washington Wizards game in 1997 at their old home, the MCI Center.

11 - Boomer

Source : instagram

  • Team - Indiana Pacers
  • Debut - 1991

Boomer emerges in all the Pacers' home games alongside NBA special events and other sporting and community events in central Indiana.

Referred to as Pacers Panther, Boomer is Indiana's energetic cat who performs dance moves and high-flying dunks besides energizing the fans during home games.

The 6-foot-tall Boomer wears the Pacers jersey with the #00 number and is among the league's highly achieved mascots, being nominated for numerous NBA All-Star Games.

10 - Chuck The Condor

Source : twitter

  • Team - Los Angeles Clippers
  • Debut - 2016

Chuck the Condor has been with the club since the team underwent a redesign in 2016.

The bright pink mascot, Chuck, is one of the newest NBA mascots and is a hit among younger fans due to its whimsical and approachable look.

He was introduced to the franchise when Steve Ballmer, Clippers' owner, worked to redesign the team's look alongside a new home court design and new jerseys.

9 - The Coyote

Source : instagram

  • Team - San Antonio Spurs
  • Debut - 1983

The Coyote was inducted into the 2007 Mascot Hall of Fame. He is a simple coyote with huge green eyes, brown fur, and pointy ears. The eyes make the mascot stand out concerning his look.

The 2014 and 2020 NBA Mascot of the Year, Coyote is well-known for his dance numbers with the team's cheerleading team, the Silver Dancers, and comedy routines.

8 - Go The Gorilla

Source : instagram

  • Team - Phoenix Suns
  • Debut - 1980

Go the Gorilla is one of the best NBA mascots that perform for the Suns. He is the most famous sports mascot throughout North America.

He was introduced to the franchise after the Suns' first eleven mascot-less seasons.

Go the Gorilla is well-known for his slapstick comedy and as one of the early high-flying dunk kings, besides his crowd-energizing performance during the Suns' home games.

The mascot was ranked fourth in the top 10 sports mascots list by Askmen and was inducted into the 2005 Mascot Hall of Fame.

7 - Hugo The Hornet

Source : instagram

  • Team - Charlotte Hornets
  • Debut - 2014

Hugo is a Hornet-like mascot, initially introduced as the mascot of the original Hornets from 1988 to 2013 before taking over as the second Hornets' mascot in the 2014-15 season.

The purple and blue hornet is among the NBA's longest-serving and best mascots, triumphing over the NBA mascot dunk content four times.

The hornet has an embroidered name, Hugo, on its chest and was a hidden character in the 1994 NBA Jam legendary video game. 

6 - Bango The Buck

Source : instagram

  • Team - Milwaukee Bucks
  • Debut - 1977

Bango the Buck is the mascot of the NBA, currently performed by Kevin Vanderkolk. 

He is a moose-design mascot with two antlers on his head and raggedy brown fur. He was voted first by Cartoon Network as the Most Awesome Mascot.

Bango has appeared at the NBA All-Star Game and is known for his wild stunts. He was named the 2010 Mascot of the Year.

The longtime Bucks' announcer, Eddie Doucette, originally coined "Bango" whenever the team lined on a long-distance basket.

5 - Harry The Hawk

Source : instagram

  • Team - Atlanta Hawks
  • Debut - 1985

One of the highest-paid NBA mascots in 2023, Harry the Hawk, is a white and red hawk who wears a basketball jersey, representing the Hawks.

Harry is known for his acrobatic and energetic enactments during the team's home games.

During breaks, this energetic hawk is spotted performing high-flying basketball dunks on a trampoline. He was named the 2023 Mascot of the Year.

The Atlantic Hawks' mascot makes about $600,000 yearly, while the NBA mascots make about $25,000 annually on average.

4 - The Raptor

Source : twitter

  • Team - Toronto Raptors
  • Debut - 1995

The Raptor is the mascot of the Raptors, ranked fourth overall in the franchise. He debuted with the #95 Raptors jersey.

He is among the best-designed and highly dynamic NBA mascots, representing the team and energizing the crowd at the Scotiabank Arena.

The Raptor is famous for goofing with rapper Drake whenever he attends a Raptors game, besides his flying dunk shots and dance number duties.

The Velociraptor design mascot has appeared in numerous community and sporting events in addition to his all Toronto Raptors' home game appearances.

3 - Stuff The Magic Dragon

Source : instagram

  • Team - Orlando Magic
  • Debut - 1989

Stuff the Magic Dragon is a slight reference to the "Puff the Magic Dragon" song. He has been entertaining numerous Magic fans for 20 seasons.

Stuff the Magic Dragon is among the oldest and tallest in all-NBA mascots. He has a Disney animated film look with star antennas on the head, green fur, and pink wings.

Alongside pleasing the crowd with his performance, Stuff is known to throw parties and gatherings with other mascots.

2 - Rocky The Mountain Lion

Source : facebook

  • Team - Denver Nuggets
  • Debut - 1990

Rocky the Mountain Lion is one of the NBA's most funny and favored mascots.

The highest-paid mascot in the NBA, Rocky the Mountain Lion, debuted in a game when the Nuggets lost to the Suns on December 15 by 142-134 score.

The Denver Nuggets mascot's salary is about $625,000 yearly. He is an all-yellow lion with an oversized head who is seen enacting over-the-top acrobatics and stunts.

He has appeared in numerous team community events and NBA All-Star Games. Also, he was named the 2019 Mascot of the Year.

1 - Benny The Bull

Source : instagram

  • Team - Chicago Bulls
  • Debut - 1969

As the first NBA mascot, Benny the Bull is the best NBA mascot out there.

Benny is famous for his aerobic jumps/flips, unique dancing, multiple dunk tricks, and spilling large popcorn amounts on fans unexpectedly.

The 2015 NBA Mascot of the Year, Benny, is a black and red Bull wearing the Bulls' #1 jersey. He can be spotted at events throughout the Chicagoland region.

Benny has appeared on "Jerry Springer," a television show, and has been spotted enacting the "Single Ladies" dance in front of Jay-Z. He was inducted into the 2019 Mascot Hall of Fame.