Toronto Raptors: The Raptor is the #1 mascot in the NBA


You probably enjoy going to Toronto Raptors games like a regular fan. You get to your seat, cheer on your team and zone out every time there’s an intermission. Every now and again you might laugh or chuckle at a mascot’s actions, but nothing more. Mascots don’t regularly catch your attention, nor do you think they should, but let me get one thing straight, the NBA mascot game is fierce.

The beef between fanbases runs strong. Mascots have dance battles, dunk contests and even stoop to humiliation the opposition’s players. There’s no stopping a mascot when it is attempting to get audience recognition.

There is one mascot that reigns supreme over the rest: The Raptor.

As seen from his twitter feed (yup, you read that right, he has a twitter profile), the Raptor is one of the most respected mascots in the league. From hitting behind the back half-court shots, helping out in the community and even waiting to get playing time in practice, the Raptor does it all.

There is however one problem the Raptor currently faces. For the past 10 years, NBA Mascots have voted for a Mascot of the Year, and not once has the Raptor won the award for Toronto Raptors faithful. Even Zach Lowe of Grantland states in his piece on the Raptor and the Mascot of the Year Award that:

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  • "“He is easily one of my five favourite mascots in the league, and it’s not a stretch to say that over the last half-decade or so of lethargic Raptors basketball, the Raptor was the very best thing going on during game days at Air Canada Centre.”"

    Even with the backhanded compliment, it’s nice to see the Raptor being admired in wide NBA circles. The biggest recent indication of love for the Raptor stemmed from his season-ending injury before the 2013-14 campaign. Lowe, in the same piece, also wrote:

    "“Today there is an outpouring of sympathy from all over the league about the Raptor’s season-ending injury — from fellow mascots, Raptors fans, team employees, and even Dwane Casey’s daughter, who wept upon hearing the news. What a tribute.”"

    With the injury came a time of great sadness for fans both young and old. Luckily, The Raptor’s cousin, Stripes, was ready to fill the position and acted as a temporary replacement until the Raptor was fully healed. However, injury didn’t stop him from making sure to cheer on Toronto’s team while taking time off, followed by an incredible return:

    All that’s left is a Mascot of the Year Award to make its way to Toronto next season.

    Next: Fan designs new Raptors logo

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