Although every team has a mascot, there is one that stands out against former NBA Champion Lamar Odom, the Phoenix Suns mascot, Joe Gorilla. The high-flying acrobatic mascot can be seen doing crazy aerial stunts while jumping off a trampoline. Despite the fact that it was one of the league’s most beloved mascots, Odom believes Go Gorilla represents racism.
He spoke about what he believes is a hidden meaning in the mascot, whether fans realize it or not, on the “Bootleg Kev Podcast.” The way he sees things, there is no reason for a city like Phoenix to have a mascot like a gorilla.
“I feel bad for the Suns fans, because they’ll never get what you probably deserve, maybe for a mascot change.”
When asked if he felt the amulet had some racial connotations, Odom replied:
Come on, brother, and then the funny thing is, like, kind of, like, they slipped once all these years. Nobody, like, says anything about it. Well, well, gorillas in the desert, you can’t find any From her. Maybe you can find a cactus.”
How did the Phoenix Suns get their mascot?
As it turns out, the Phoenix Suns didn’t have a mascot for the first 11 years of the franchise’s history. In 1980, that changed when a fan who came to their home arena dressed as a gorilla was invited to entertain the fans during breaks. Some time after the schtick was worn, the gorilla was named the team’s official mascot.
The original mascot held the position for nearly a decade before being replaced by someone who carried the torch for nearly 20 years. The Suns then found another performer who would don the Go Gorilla suit for several years before settling on a current performer prior to the 2012-13 season.
According to the Suns franchise, the current Go Gorilla performer is one of the best performing artists in the world.
Although fans were quick to point out Go Gorilla’s origins to Odom, he hasn’t responded yet. Considering how long the mascot has been attached to the Suns franchise, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
Based on fan reviews, the Go Gorilla has been ranked as one of the worst NBA mascots in the league. With Rocky the Mountain Lion finishing for the Denver Nuggets in first place, the Mavs man for the Dallas Mavericks has been ranked as the worst mascot in the league.
Below you can watch a video analyzing some of the best ones Funny moments in the NBA.