Survey: Best and Worst NBA Mascots Ranked by Sports Fans

Written By Staff on November 18, 2021 - Last Updated on January 30, 2023
NBA Phoenix Suns Gorilla Mascot

NBA mascots come in all different shapes, sizes and attitudes, but only a select few can reign supreme and be considered the best.

In order to find out the best and worst mascots in the league, we surveyed basketball fans around the country and asked them to rank every official mascot in the NBA. Whether it’s because fans are left in awe by their half-court, behind-the-back shots, or because they just like the way a mascot looks, fans provided us with the ultimate NBA mascot ranking.

According to basketball fans, the mascot at the top of the mountain is the Denver Nuggets’ Rocky the Mountain Lion. Fans gave Rocky a nearly 4-star rating out of 5. Coming in at a very close second place is one of the oldest NBA mascots, Benny the Bull of the Chicago Bulls with a 3.86 rating.

Rounding out the top 5 NBA mascots are Grizz of the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 3), Champ of the Dallas Mavericks (No. 4) and Bango the Buck (No. 5), who is the official mascot of the 2021 NBA Champions, the Milwaukee Bucks.

All mascots within the top five received more than three and a half star ratings.

NBA’s Most Average Mascots

When it comes to sports, you never want to aim for being just “average,” but our list of NBA mascots wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the mascots who linger somewhere in between great and awful.

According to online sports betting fans, the most middle of the road mascots include:

  • Clutch the Bear of the Houston Rockets (No. 17)
  • The Raptor of the Toronto Raptors (No. 16)
  • G-wiz of the Washington Wizards (No. 15)
  • Chuck the Condor of the Los Angeles Clippers (No. 14) and
  • Moondog of the Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 13)

Worst NBA Mascots

Now that we’ve addressed the good and the average, it’s time to talk about the ugly. That’s right, we’re talking about the worst mascots in the league – and Mark Cuban is probably not going to be happy about this list.

According to basketball fans, the worst mascot in the NBA is the Mavs Man of the Dallas Mavericks. Fans gave the Mavs Man a paltry 1.69 star rating out of 5. Considering that the other official mascot of the Mavericks, Champ, ranks within the top 5, maybe it’s time to put Mavs Man on the bench?

Elsewhere on the list of worst NBA mascots are The Coyote of the San Antonio Spurs (No. 2), Go the Gorilla of the Phoenix Suns (No. 3), Lucky the Leprechaun of the Boston Celtics (No. 4) and Slamson the Lion of the Sacramento Kings (No. 5).

Most Obnoxious NBA Mascots

Unsurprisingly, three of the top 5 worst NBA mascots also rank high on the list of most obnoxious mascots in the NBA. Lucky the Leprechaun (No. 1), Go the Gorilla (No. 5) and, you guessed it, the Mavs Man (No. 2) all rank within the top 5 category for most obnoxious. Also making an appearance are G-wiz of the Washington Wizards (No. 3) and Stuff the Magic Dragon of the Orlando Magic (No. 4).

Coming Out of Retirement?

While some current mascots would rather be forgotten by fans, some are gone but not forgotten. According to fans, there are a select few NBA mascots currently in retirement that should be brought back.

After making his debut for the Seattle Supersonics in 1993, Squatch the mascot was with the team until they relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. But fans ranked Squatch the “most missed” retired mascot in the NBA. Coming in at No. 2 was Whammer of the Cleveland Cavaliers followed by the short-lived Brooklyn Nets mascot, BrooklyKnight.


To determine our ranking, we surveyed more than 1,500 NBA fans across the country to ask them to rate every official NBA mascot on a scale of 1-5. Ratings were then averaged for each mascot. Among respondents, 50% were male and 50% were female with an average age of 30. Note: the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks do not have official mascots, so they were not included in this list.

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Photo by AP / Ross D. Franklin
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