The best mascot in the NBA will unfortunately be forced to miss the entire 2013-14 season after suffering an injury in the preseason.
The Toronto Raptors mascot, known as “The Raptor”, tore his Achilles tendon while the team was visiting Halifax, N.S. as part of their preparations for the upcoming season.
The injury occurred while The Raptor was doing a backflip during a visit to a school in Halifax. ESPN’s Youtube page posted the following video displaying the injury:
As the video showed, The Raptor took the injury in stride and limped away without alarming any children there was something wrong. Proving he is not only the best mascot in the NBA, he’s also the toughest.
Considering the magnitude of many of the stunts mascots perform to pump up the crowd, it is incredible injuries don’t happen more often. At times, it feels as if there is no limit to what mascots are willing to do in order to receive a reaction from the crowd.
The Raptor has performed numerous questionable stunts over the years.
He once tried to rollerblade down stairs which ended in mixed results:
He was once thrown off the roof of the Palace of Auburn Hills:
The Raptor was even hit by a car once upon a time:
Through all the stunts he’s performed over the years, perhaps the most impressive thing The Raptor has done has been his ability to pump up the Air Canada Centre crowd. Being the mascot of a team that has had little to cheer for over the years, The Raptor has always been able to put a smile on the faces in the crowd and get them standing up to cheer when the playoffs seemed like the furthest thing from reality.
Get well soon Raptor, you’ll be greatly missed.
Toronto management have plans to replace The Raptor by opening night, but is it really possible to replace somebody who steals candy from kids and taxis from Rasheed Wallace fans? Unlikely.