For 22 years, the Phoenix Suns have had a gorilla as a mascot. Why a gorilla, as the species is not exactly native to the American Southwest’s deserts? Because in 1980 a guy delivering a singing telegram to the arena did a couple dances near the basket and the fans loved it. It grew from there.
Now the Suns gorilla is one of the oldest NBA mascots, one of the first to play jokes on opposing coaches, to mock the other team, and one of the first to become a high-flying dunker.
And now, that can be you.
The Suns are looking for a new gorilla (okay, not to ruin the surprise, but for a guy to be inside the gorilla costume). Why? We don’t know but the old gorilla getting in an altercation in a restaurant probably didn’t help his cause. Anyway, follow this link to the ad (hat tip to our sister blog Off the Bench).
You should have a college degree and a couple years mascot experience at the college or pro level. Gymnastics skills and the ability to do high-flying dunks off a trampoline while wearing a costume is a must. You better be in great shape. And you better be able to fire up a crowd, because without Steve Nash this season suns fans are going to need some entertainment.
You also need to be “proficient in Microsoft Office, Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and other related computer skills required.” Of course. Because a thousand gorillas at a thousand typewriters is how they create the game night programs. (Actually, you probably have to keep up the Gorilla’s own web site.)
Anyway, I somehow though a few of my readers here would think they could go ape… sorry, that was too easy. But if you apply, good luck.
Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.
The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.
The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.
Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.
Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.
Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.
“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”
The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.
Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.
LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.
Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?
Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.
LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.
To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.
It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.