NBA Teams

NBA Teams Without A Mascot

By Abhay Acharya / 27 November 2023 10:35 AM

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NBA teams without mascot are the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and New York Knicks. The Nets lack a mascot since the 2014-15 season.

26 out of 30 NBA teams have mascots, which can be seen during each team's matches. They have always been a part of the NBA team identity and are seen as the symbols of good luck for their respective team.

Harry the Hawk, the Atlanta Hawks mascot, was honored as the 2023 Mascot of the Year by the NBA Mascot Conference. Being formed in 1997, the conference started naming the top professional individual NBA mascot as Mascot of the Year in 2005.

The Chicago Bulls mascot, Benny the Bull, is the first NBA mascot serving the Bulls since 1969. The Denver Nuggets Rocky the Mountain Lion and the Phoenix Suns' The Gorilla are among the best NBA mascots.

While the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors have had their fair share of mascots in the past, the Lakers and the Knicks haven't had any mascot since their initiation.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are among the only four NBA teams without a mascot. The Nets have had three mascots in the past, with Brooklynknight being the latest.

Formerly known as the New Jersey Nets, it is a professional basketball team based in Brooklyn, New York. The team competes in the NBA as the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division member.

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The Nets puff a triad of official team mascots, epitomizing the team's home borough's diverse spirit. Brooklyknight, Duncan the Dragon, and Sly the Silver Fox carry distinctive character and flair to the court.

Before moving to Brooklyn, the Nets were based across the Hudson River in New Jersey from 1977 to 2012 as the New Jersey Nets.

During their time in the swamp, the team introduced its first official mascot, Duncan the Dragon. It was introduced apparently after the management pondered changing the name to New Jersey Swamp Dragons, which was ultimately declined.

The mascot was an initiative to increase merchandise sales and overcome the disappointing attendance rate by promoting an animated cartoon dragon logo to the kids.

At the beginning of the 1997-98 season, the Nets brought a change in mascots. Sly the Silver Fox took Duncan's place.

It is the team's longest-lasting mascot as it entertained the fans and had a catchy name. The Silver Fox represented the Nets for their final 15 seasons in New Jersey.

As the team moved to Brooklyn in 2012, a new mascot, The BrooklyKnight, was introduced at the Nets' debut in the borough on November 3 against the Toronto Raptors.

The BrooklyKnight was presented as a superhero who would defend Brooklyn. ESPN, Marvel, and ABC designed the character, and Marvel released a comic book called BrooklyKnight #1 to provide it with a backstory.

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However, the mascot was retired for the 2014-15 season as the fans were never drawn to it. Many deem it too scary for the kids and lacking the comedic value required for a mascot.

Since then, the Nets have been mascot-free and have no plans for a mascot in the coming seasons.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are among the few NBA teams never to have a mascot since its inauguration in 1946. The team is based in Manhattan, New York.

The Knicks are a professional American basketball team that competes in the National Basketball Association as the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division member.

The team was founded in 1946 and played its home games at Madison Square Garden, sharing with the National Hockey League's New York Rangers.

The Knicks are among the NBA powerhouse teams, with two NBA championships, four conference titles, and eight division titles. They secured their first NBA trophy in 1970 after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals.

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Alongside the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks are among the only two authentic NBA teams still located in their inaugural cities.

The Knicks got their name from Dutch colonizers in the 1600s. The Knickerbockers mainly refers to the style of the pants they wore that rolled up just below the knee.

Likewise, Father Knickerbocker was the logo used by the Knicks from their inaugural season through the 1963-64 season.

The logo represented a smiling Father Knickerbocker dribbling a basketball designed by the New York World-Telegram's famed sports cartoonist, Willard Mullin.

Most teams illustrate their mascots representing their name or logo to promote their fanfare and encourage kids towards basketball.

However, with the Knicks having such a history in their name and logo, it has always been difficult for the team to have a strong mascot that could represent the club's true origin.

Golden State Warriors Mascot 2023

The Golden State Warriors are among the four NBA teams without a mascot for the 2023-24 season. The Warriors once had two mascots, Thunder and Berserker.

Formerly known as the San Francisco Warriors, it is a professional American basketball team in San Francisco. The club competes in the National Basketball Association as the Western Conference's Pacific Division member.

During the 1996-97 season, the Warriors' facility in Oakland underwent renovations, leading the team to relocate to San Jose Arena.

During that season, the team introduced its first mascot, Berserker, to draw new fans and divert the existing fans from the on-court mesh.

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The Warriors' haggard athletic creature was responsible for the dead-ball entertainment of the team in San Jose, where the team lost 23 of 41 home matches.

Berserker, an anthropomorphic beast, was the first official mascot in the 50-year-long history of the franchise. However, Berserker only lasted one season.

The Warriors introduced their second and final mascot, Thunder, ahead of the 1997-98 season. He entertained the fans for eleven seasons before retiring after the 2007-08 season.

The mascot wore a skin-tight giant blue foam buff suit with a blue mask hemmed by a lightning bolt that swept toward the heavens.

It was a one-time mascot of the Warriors that retired in 2008 due to an alias confluence with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were set to debut that season.

The Golden State Warriors logo history incorporates the team adapting to a new logo whenever they relocate. They went through ten alterations from their inauguration to the current logo.

The team's current logo depicts the fragment of the Golden Gate Bridge in a circle, with the inscriptions of GOLDEN STATE and WARRIORS on the top and bottom, respectively.

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The symbol signifies the team's desire to achieve the most significant goal, ease of the game, and continuous development in the blue-yellow palette. The design's primary shades are the California Golden Yellow and the Warriors Royal Blue.

Besides the initial two emblem versions, the Warriors' visual identity has always been based on a yellow and blue palette, representing reliability, activity, energy, and professionalism.

Los Angeles Lakers Mascot 2023

The Los Angeles Lakers are among the four NBA teams that do not have a mascot. The team never had an official mascot since its inauguration.

Previously known as the Minneapolis Lakers, it is a professional basketball team in Los Angeles, competing in the NBA as the Western Conference's Pacific Division member.

Since being founded in 1947, the Lakers have been the league's powerhouse with the most championship trophies of seventeen, tying with the Boston Celtics. They won their recent NBA championship in 2020.

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In addition, the Lakers have won about nineteen conference titles and thirty-three division titles throughout history.

The Lakers have a higher celebrity presence than any other NBA franchise. Big names like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Lebron James, etc., are well-known to the public, eliminating the need for a mascot.

Moreover, Jack Nicholson, the team's season ticket holder since 1970, has appeared in almost every Lakers' home game. Likewise, other celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens, Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Cruise, Charlize Theron, and many more visit their home games.

Furthermore, the Laker Girls have been with the team since 1979, performing about 30 routines each season. Since Jerry Buss purchased the club, they have acted as the team's official cheerleading squad.

The Laker Girls are a semi-professional crew, each member holding regular day jobs like dancers, professors, etc. The Girls also act as the local ambassadors and local advocates for the Lakers organization and female empowerment in LA, respectively.

An audition is held in July each year to be included in the Laker Girls, where the current members also need to audition to retain their position in the team.

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Hence, the Lakers might not have considered the need for a mascot due to a higher number of star athletes representing the team, a high celebrity presence, and the Laker Girls.