The Phoenix Suns’ Gorilla has become a beloved part of the franchise since he debuted in 1980.
But evidently not everyone is a fan.
A recent survey conducted by PlayAZ.com ranked Go (that is the Suns mascot’s name) among the worst mascots in the NBA.
The Gorilla came in at No. 25 in the ranking. Only 27 NBA teams have official mascots.
Only the Dallas Mavericks’ Mavs Man and the San Antonio Spurs’ The Coyote were ranked behind the Suns’ Gorilla.
The Denver Nuggets’ Rocky the Mountain Lion was No. 1 in the ranking, followed by the Chicago Bulls’ Benny the Bull.
The Suns’ Gorilla also showed up on another list in the survey. He came in at No. 5 in a list of the most obnoxious mascots in the NBA, behind the Boston Celtics’ Lucky the Leprechaun, Mavs Man, G-wiz of the Washington Wizards and Stuff the Magic Dragon of the Orlando Magic.
Play AZ determined the ranking by surveying more than 1,500 NBA fans across the country. It had them rate the official NBA mascots on a scale of 1-5 and then averaged the ratings to produce its rankings.
Not everyone agrees with Play AZ’s survey.
A recent ranking of NBA mascots by NBC Sports put Go the Gorilla as the sixth-best mascot in the league.
Marsha Green wrote: “GO the Gorilla is one of the most famous mascots on the list. Known for his slapstick comedy, GO was introduced as the official mascot for the Phoenix Suns in 1980. In May of this year, the Suns announced that GO signed the first-ever team mascot athletic endorsement deal after partnering with the Phoenix streetwear brand Guest List. He was honored in 2005 when he was selected to be one of three inaugural members of the Mascots Hall of Fame.”
BetMGM had the Suns mascot at No. 8 on a recent list.
It wrote: “It’s the same with the Phoenix Suns, with gorillas never calling Phoenix, AZ, home. But one does and that’s “The Gorilla,” or just “Go” once you’re acquainted. He’s the Lady Gaga of NBA mascots: one of a kind and a trendsetter. Nobody messes with the pioneer of trampoline dunks, not even those he pulls his legendary pranks on. What’s incredibly unique about this mascot is his origin, with an article from NBA.com sharing that a messenger for a singing-telegram service appeared during a Phoenix Suns game to do his job, but that people convinced him to share a few dance moves before he left. He did, and the rest is history!”
Disrespect for Arizona sports team mascots?
The low ranking for Go the Gorilla isn’t the first recent low ranking for Arizona sports team mascots.
Play AZ’s recent survey of MLB mascots gave the Arizona Diamondbacks’ D. Baxter the Bobcat the dubious honor of being the second-most obnoxious mascot in baseball.
Another recent survey named ASU’s Sparky the Sun Devil among the “most offensive” and “creepiest” college mascots.
Arizona did catch a break with another ranking, however. A Play Canada survey recently voted Howler the Coyote, the Arizona Coyotes’ mascot, the third-best mascot in the NHL.
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