Everybody loves a good mascot. Their zany antics are just what you need to keep things light when your team really sucks, or when you’re at the game with kids, or when you’ve run out of beer money. However, as we’ve seen before, there is a pretty fine line between “quirky and whimsical” and “freaky and disturbing.” And in the NBA, there are a lot of mascots that fall on the wrong side of that line. So obviously, we’re going to put them all together and rank them in terms of creepiness. Because that’s what the internet likes: rankings.
Ready to get started? Great. Let’s cause some night terrors!
Go the Gorilla is one of the oldest and most beloved mascots in the NBA, and in theory I've got no problem with him. I mean, how can you not love a dude in an ape suit performing showtime dunks at halftime? It's hysterical.
Unfortunately—and maybe it's just me—every time I see the Suns Gorilla I'm reminded of Planet of the Apes, and I think we cal all agree that is one creepy movie.
Maybe if they developed some sort of animatronic mask so that he actually had expressions I wouldn't find him so disturbing. But he doesn't. He's got that same, expressionless look on his plastic gorilla face the whole time. And I find it unsettling.
11. The Phoenix Gorilla (Phoenix Suns)
I've got no problem whatsoever with Moon Dog. He's a fuzzy puppy dog, which is adorable.
No, the guy I can't handle is Sir CC. Obviously, he is a Cavalier, and I've got no real beef with supporters of England's King Charles I or King Charles II. If you're into 17th century English politics, that's fine by me.
My problem is that Sir CC is not cute. In fact, he's the opposite of cute. He's creepy as hell. I mean look at him. The dude looks like he's half-baked. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the real reason LeBron left town.
10. Sir CC (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Stuff the Magic Dragon may be named after a song many people seem to think is about rollin' doobies, but he looks like he was designed by somebody tripping on acid. Or maybe an eight-year-old girl. It's like they started with the Philly Phanatic and then added crazy antennae, bushly blue eyebrows, weird floppy ears, and a snout with party favors stuffed in his nostrils.
But hey, maybe I'm crazy. These Marines sure seem to love him. So...oorah?
9. Stuff the Magic Dragon (Orlando Magic)
I know what you're thinking, but no, that is not a minion of Lucifer, Prince of Darkness. It's Rufus, the mascot of the Charlotte Bobcats. (So no, that franchise literally cannot do anything right.)
Fortunately, Lynx will soon bite the dust. Now that the team down in Nawlins has given up the "Hornets" brand, the team in Charlotte is taking is back starting next season.
Unfortunately, I'm sure whatever new Hornets mascot they come up with is going to be just as creepy as this guy.
8. Rufus D. Lynx (Charlotte Bobcats)
Believe it or not, the Utah Jazz mascot is not supposed to look like a combination of an Ewok and Teen Wolf. He's supposed to be a bear. Regardless, this is one menacing-looking anthropomorphized creature. As a kid I wouldn't have gone near this thing for anything, and as an adult it still makes me a little uncomfortable.
7. Jazz Bear (Utah Jazz)
Speaking of menacing...holy sh*t, Oklahoma City. If you guys were trying to make your mascot scary as hell, good job. This bison likes like he's ready to kick some ass, and that's without the pickaxe.
Now, I don't want to tell anybody how to do their jobs (though Lord knows everybody on the internet wants to tell me how to do mine), but maybe you guys could have made Rumble the Bison a little less intimidating. You know, for the kids. I know my niece is absolutely terrified of Santa Clause, and that's a jolly old grandpa-looking dude who brings her tons of presents for no good reason. There's no way she'd warm up to this thing.
6. Rumble the Bison (OKC Thunder)
I love the name Grizzlies. Sure, there are no Grizzlies in Tennessee, but that's okay. This franchise was originally located in Vancouver, so we'll cut them some slack.
What I will not cut them some slack for, however, is this downright frightening grizzly bear mascot. This thing looks like Gmork from Neverending Story. And in my book, if your team's mascot looks like the villain from a deranged 1980s West German epic fantasy film, you're doing it wrong.
5. Grizz (Memphis Grizzlies)
I know G-Wiz is supposed to be a Wizard. But does he have to look like the Grand Wizard of the KKK? Or like a cross between Gonzo from the Muppets and a Smurf? Because, I've got to tell you, I find all of those things pretty unsettling, and I suspect I'm not the only one.
4. G-Wiz (Washington Wizards)
Lots of people made fun of the new name of the New Orleans NBA franchise when it was announced. Pelicans, they said, are not scary.
Of course, I bet all those people feel pretty stupid now. Pelicans, as it turns out, are f-ing terrifying—at least if we're judging by Pierre the Pelican, here. He's not just a regular pelican. He's a killer pelican from outer space.
3. Pierre the Pelican (New Orleans Pelicans)
And then there's the Brooklyn Knight. I'm not sure why the Nets decided to celebrate their move from Jersey to Brooklyn by making one of the Ring Wraiths from The Lords of the Rings trilogy their mascot, but they did. And, in the right lighting, he is scary as hell.
Note to fans with kids: take the youngsters to get a hotdog during the halftime festivities or they're going to be sleeping in your bed for weeks.
2. Brooklyn Knight (Brooklyn Nets)
Finally, taking the number one spot on our list of haunting NBA mascots is the San Antonio Spurs Coyote. The fans in San Antonio love this guy, and I guess, from far away, there's nothing wrong with him. However, up close, where you can see his creepy green bug eyes, it's obvious he was designed by somebody who smoked a little too much peyote.
Don't think he's terrifying? Well, close your eyes and imagine this guy holding a knife and looking at you with his head tilted down at a 30-degree angle. Now do you get it?