Mascots. Mascots are creepy. They have big heads, dead, soulless eyes, and do not make noise. They prance around during games doing elaborate actions which can be amusing, but when you take a moment to actually look at them, they are terrifying. Some, however, are more terrifying than others. While there are those that merely make us a bit uncomfortable, some are otherworldly horrors that haunt you for years. We’ve ranked the NFL mascots in this manner already, so now it’s time to judge the NBA.
First off, a note. A few teams have multiple mascots, and both will be included in this list. However, several teams have no mascots — the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets and Warriors both once had mascots, but they were bad and no longer exist. The Lakers and Knicks have never had mascots, although I officially nominate Lakers Guy as the unofficial mascot.
To the rankings!
28. Benny The Bull
Benny isn’t that creepy. If you saw him in a dark alley, he’d probably escort you out and back home safely. He seems like a really jovial dude. He has a fun surprised expression on his face at all times, wears his uniform well, and has really delightful hair that shows he can have a little fun. Maybe his incredibly approachable facade makes it easier for him to be a serial killer, but if I had to be murdered, at least I’d get to fluff his amazingly soft face while I die.
27. Bango the Buck
Bango doesn’t so much look like a creepy monster as he looks like your annoying Boy Scout of an older brother. A little too pompous and self-righteous, he’s too busy trying to do the right thing to an insufferable extent. He won’t let you have any fun that isn’t pre-authorized. Bango won’t be scary until later in life, when all his accomplishments are slowly torn apart by his first marriage. Then he becomes a drunk shade of his former self and you don’t want to take your kids to Uncle Bango’s house.
26. Rumble the Bison
Rumble is supposed to be a bison, but he honestly looks more like a hippie than anything else. Look at those bangs. That beard. Those soft, violence-hating eyes. He’s like The Dude, in mascot form. He won’t murder you, at least not on purpose. He will take you to his commune in the woods and offer you drugs you didn’t know existed and sit there in a daze as you struggle to survive whatever the hell you just ingested. As you slowly fade into nothing, you’ll see him look at you, more confused than anything.
25. Grizz the Grizzly Bear
Talk about an unimaginative mascot. Grizz is incredibly uninspired and maybe that’s why he makes you mildly uncomfortable to be around. Look at him. Is that really supposed to be a bear? It looks closer to teen wolf. It looks like someone’s poorly taxidermied bear rug re-gained sentience, put on a Grizzlies uniform, and tries to make killer slam dunks. He might make you a rug, so stay out of his way.
24. Crunch the Wolf
If Grizz is too uninspired for a grizzly bear mascot name, then Crunch is the opposite end of the spectrum. Why is he named Crunch? Crunchtime? Who knows. Crunch has a weird name, but that’s not what makes him creepy. Crunch looks like he’d go to cosplay and furry conventions, not because he’s into that, but because it helps him blend in with his prey. When you try to find the bathroom at the convention, you see him standing alone down a side hallway. You ask him “Hey man, are you lost?” He turns around. No sound comes out. He moves slowly toward you. Just when you think he’s going to take you, a couple friends come around the corner. He backs off. You forget about it till the next morning when you see the news: “Five people go missing at local convention.”
23. Jazz Bear
The Jazz are hilarious. They are stuck in a state and city not known for Jazz, and for a mascot, for a team named after a genre of music, they just have a bear with the music genre for a name. Terrible branding aside, whoever designs bear mascots for the NBA must not actually know what a bear looks like, because both Grizz and Jazz look only vaguely like actual bears. Jazz himself looks like an Ewok from Return of the Jedi. Only he’s one of the “outcast” ewoks. The ones banished from the tribe. Maybe you are a stormtrooper who escaped the battle on Endor, taking the lives of many of the stupid kiddie-pandering teddy bears with you. Then when the forest goes dark, you stumble on a different type of treehouse. There are no lights. Animal bones litter the ground. You try to run, and a trap ensnares you. You probably wish you didn’t escape the good ewoks now, don’t you?
Boomer seems like a fairly accomplished guy. But that’s what makes you nervous. This guy has been getting away with it for years. He has a system now. He’s patient. He may not get you tonight. Or tomorrow night. But he will get you. One night at home you’ll wake up, roll over to your loving wife, only to see him instead. I’d rather not talk about what happens after that.
21. Harry the Hawk
Harry is just so mad. Why is he so mad? What happened to this poor bird? He puts on a dazzling display of acrobatics for the crowds but he never seems to actually enjoy it. You decide to investigate. You go to the police hall of records. You find details, hints of his disturbing past. The cops took his wife. They murdered his family. They got away with it. You decide it’s up to you to help Harry. You go to his nest. You tell him what you know. He seems to understand. Then you slip up, and say you know a few good cops who can help. You don’t remember much after that, because there isn’t much to remember when you die so fast.
Hooper seems like a jolly mascot. He’s a horse for horsepower, which is a car term, for Detroit, yadda yadda yadda. During the game Hooper seems to take a special interest in you. He spends a lot of time in your section. He comes up to you multiple times and messes with you for everyone to see on the jumbotron. He touches you frequently. The audience loves his antics but something feels wrong, and when you try to tell him off a bit, he just makes a show of it. The game ends, and you go to leave for your car. The tires are slashed. By the time you get a tow truck to show up, everyone else has left. Guess who is driving the tow truck?
19. Raptor the Raptor
You get to go to the exotic island of Toronto with your sister. You have a rough go of things when some of the local wildlife gets a bit uppity. You finally reach a safe spot, eating some Jell-o in an empty banquet hall. That’s when you see his shadow. You flee, but he follows you into the kitchen. You try so hard to not make noise among the pots and pans. You lock him in the freezer. You reach another room and lock the doors, but he breaks the glass. You manage to get away to the rafters but then he corners you in the foyer of the building. How do you escape? You don’t. This isn’t some movie ending.
18. Blaze the Trail Cat
You might be wondering why a team named after pioneers in a logging town has a cat mascot. Why isn’t the Blazers mascot a Pioneer man, or a lumberjack? Why a cat of all things? Well, you don’t know the full story. There was a lumberjack pioneer mascot. Blaze auditioned for the job but everyone in the Blazers front office thought the same way you do. Why hire a cat? That’s dumb. Long story short, they don’t think it’s dumb anymore, because they are too afraid to suggest otherwise.
17. Franklin the Dog
Named for Ben Franklin in the city of freedom. Franklin is a lot like Lennie from Of Mice and Men. He thinks you are the rabbits. He wants to pet you. To never stop petting you. Trust the process.
16. Go the Gorilla
The Suns seem like they wanted a mascot but couldn’t think of anything good, so they found one crazy fan in the stands wearing a gorilla costume and promoted him to official mascot. Little do they know, this isn’t a normal dude in a gorilla mask. He’s a science experiment to resurrect Harambe from before his untimely death. You might be thinking “But wasn’t Go around before any of us knew Harambe?” You’d be right. This undead Harambe killed the original Go, and nobody knows yet what he’s planning.
15. Slamson the Lion
Slamson is tired. He’s tired of you making fun of his receding hairline. He’s tired of you abandoning the Kings for the Warriors. He’s tired of paying his bills. He’s tired of people walking too slowly on the sidewalk. He’s tired of these so-called “laws.” It’s time for him to take matters into his own hands. The Purge may just be a movie franchise, but it’s how Slamson sees the world. He’s about to dunk on you and everyone you know, with no regard for human life.
14. Hugo the Hornet
Hugo puts on a big cute show for the kids as a basketball game, but at night, when you sit at your desk, reading Reddit when you should be sleeping, you might notice a slight buzzing sound. You don’t know what it is. You get up to look, and the sound stops. You sit down, the sound starts. It goes on for hours, driving you mad. Finally, you give up, go to bed, and turn the lights out. You look out the window, and there he is. Just hovering and buzzing. Hovering and buzzing. Hovering and buzzing.
13. Lucky the Leprechaun
Lucky is the only mascot that isn’t hiding behind a mask. Or so you think. What looks to be a normal Masshole frat bro in an Irish costume is actually not a human, but is very good at wearing one.
You have an innocent day in downtown D.C. You see the Capitol Building, the White House, the Washington Monument. You peruse the Smithsonian. You end up on one of the Metro cars late that night heading back. Everyone gets off your car except you. The next stop isn’t labeled, and G-Wiz gets on your car. He slowly turns to look at you. You frantically look out the window, but you aren’t on the blue line anymore. You’re on his line. It’s only a matter of time now.
11. Rocky the Mountain Lion
Lost in the Rocky Mountains is not how you planned to spend your Saturday. At least you still think it’s Saturday. You can’t be sure anymore, you’re so dehydrated. You have to make it over this next hill. You feel like something is stalking you. You try and try but you can’t seem to reach the top, and that’s when you slip. You fall. Your ankle breaks. You’re helpless. Then from your left the bushes rustle. He comes out, staring at you with cold dead eyes. You will do nicely.
10. Chuck the Condor
You are out camping with your friends. Telling scary ghost stories by the lake. One story is about an ancient bird man who swoops down to steal campers to feed to her young. It’s getting late. Your friend Jake announces he has to take a piss. His girlfriend tells him to stay close, she’s scared. Jake laughs. It’s just a story. Jake vanishes into the bushes to do his business. It is just a story, right?
They tell you to not ask Burnie what he is. But you can’t resist. You find him by the restroom after the game. You ask. He motions to you to come over. You do. He looks at you for a long time, and then removes his jersey. They told you not to ask.
8. Champ the Horse
Champ is what happens when you take Bojack Horseman and make him a pedophile.
7. Moon Dog
The Cavaliers have two mascots. Yeah, this is the less creepy one. Moon was a rescue dog from the pound, but sometimes the rescue comes too late. Look at his teeth. Those teeth have ground many bones. I’m not talking Milk Bones.
6. Stuff the Magic Dragon
Stuff looks like he was made in a laboratory by scientists trying to distill the perfect mascot for a children’s TV show. A Dragon? Check, kids love dragons. Goofy hair? Check. Reference to a questionable children’s media property? Check (Puff The Magic Dragon). Kind of looks like a rejected Pokemon? Check. Those annoying noise makers you blow into? Double Check. The scientists were too busy trying to see if they could that they forgot to consider if they should. The result was the LSD-inspired monstrosity you see before you, a disturbing Disney reject in the heart of the Magic Kingdom.
5. Pierre the Pelican
Pierre the Pelican is not a bird. He is a demi-god, risen from the land of the banished, here to feast upon your flesh.
4. Mavs Man
The Mavericks have two mascots and the Pedophile Horse is still somehow less creepy than Mavs Man. Mavs Man was a regular man, kidnapped by mad scientists, experimented on. His face was removed. His skin, tainted. His body given strength beyond compare. He managed to break free of his tormentors, but it was too late to save his sanity. The two scientists were found by the river, their faces frozen in a horrific grin. Mavs Man has been on the run since. They say you can get glimpses of him when someone suggests Dirk should retire. Some think it’s Mark Cuban himself. Nobody knows for sure, because once you see that mask, you won’t have time to tell anyone.
3. Clutch the Bear
Clutch your bear
Clutch him tight
Make sure you hold on
All through the night
For if you don’t
You cannot fight
As Clutch the Bear
Turns out your light
You can’t run. Why did you do it? Why did you read from the book? Your friends are dead. They have been consumed. Your family is dead. You watched him do it. He’s coming. He’s coming. His eyes. You can’t look into his eyes. You cower in the corner of the old factory. The footsteps get louder. The guttural slurping sounds coming from his mouth get more frenzied. He knows your scent. You can’t run. You can’t hide. It’s only a matter of time. If only the room had a window, a place to leap from, a way to end it all. But you are trapped. He enters the room. He looks at you. You can scream now. No one will hear.
1. Sir CC
Cleveland never should have won. The curse was not meant to keep Clevelanders from experiencing sports happiness. The curse was placed to keep it contained. The curse has been lifted. The seal’s broken. The river runs red with blood. The sky has turned black, except for the mountains of flame. The dead have risen. They shuffle toward the lake, leaving a trail of death behind them. The city shall be the first consumed. It cannot be stopped. It is not of this Earth. It is not of this universe. It looks at you. What has been unleashed will never stop. It will never end. As you slowly fade, your final thought is that you are among the lucky ones to have your end come so soon. Lord save us all.