The Denver Nuggets mascot had a “rocky” first game as he passed out before Friday night’s home opener at the Pepsi Center.
“Rocky” as he is known apparently suffered a dizzy spell or had the wind knocked out of him as he was lowered from the rafters to the court during the pregame ceremony.
Although insignificant when compared to a possible injury, things didn’t go to well for the Denver Nuggets players either as they later lost to the Portland Trailblazers 113-98.
It was potentially a scary and hazardous situation for the mascot, the Denver ABC News affiliate reports:
“The plan was for Rocky to be lowered in a harness, with a spotlight on him, just before the home opener. Fans were horrified when a lifeless Rocky was lowered to the center court where he immediately collapsed. The spotlight was quickly turned off. Rocky was checked by medical personnel before he walked off the court under his own power… The camera angle during the live broadcast made it appear Rocky was hanging by his neck, but the line went to a harness on his back that was hidden by the mascot’s large head.”
Rocky did not return to the floor, but later tweeted that he was okay and hopefully would be back on the court for the Nuggets’ next tip-off.
Given what transpired before the game, Sports Illustrated suggests that NBA teams should consider dialing back the intensity of pregame and halftime entertainment:
“The unsettling scene raises the question of how much is too much when it comes to pregame stunts. Every year, it seems, the bar gets raised… Whatever marginal benefit there was to be gained by air-dropping the mascot was just wiped out by an unforgettable, fairly horrible mental image that is going to linger for awhile. There must be a safer, equally effective method for setting an exhilarating tone on opening night.”
— SuperMascot Rocky (@TheSuperMascot) November 2, 2013
[thumbnail image credit: KM Newnham]