One of my favorite, somewhat unheralded NBA mascots is Hooper of the Detroit Pistons, a horse (cars have horsepower … get it?) who replaced Sir Slam-A-Lot as the team mascot in 1996, and quickly became a local favorite. One reason: the pro-wrestling-style storylines, which have taken a violent, hilarious turn as of late.
On Friday Hooper was “jumped” by a number of Brooklyn Nets players prior to the game, who appeared to pummel the mascot mercilessly on the court. Best part: Hooper being dragged away from the scene of the attack, apparently unconscious, by Pistons staff.
Then on Saturday prior to a game against the Trail Blazers, Hooper appeared to mock Robin Lopez by wearing a fake afro wig, which again earned the mascot a beatdown (see below).
Senseless violence not suitable for children, or good, clean fun? The Pistons seem to have stumbled onto an age-old entertainment mainstay: the pantomime horse has been a source of amusement since the 19th century, and now of course is a star of film and television: