Best Mascot - 2001
Thunder, Golden State Warriors
Considering that the Warriors just put up one of the worst half-seasons in NBA history, you wouldn't expect anyone to even show up at their games, much less be excited about it. And yet, for the duration of the TV timeout before the start of every fruitless fourth quarter at the Arena in Oakland, the crowd (or whatever is passing for a crowd) rises to its feet and actually makes some noise. The excitement is courtesy of Thunder, the team's very obnoxious, very blue mascot, and his acrobatic, trampoline-launched slam-dunking routine. While the act -- an assortment of high-flying leaps and flips -- can get old for die-hard fans, it is enough to bring glee to nonregulars. It's little wonder the Warriors honchos gave Thunder his own page in the team's media guide (which reveals not only that he has dunked over ice princess Kristi Yamaguchi, but also that he wears size 11 1/2 Nike shoes).