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Golden State Warriors mulling mascot change


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Warriors mulling mascot change

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- With the Oklahoma City Thunder now part of the NBA lineup, the Golden State Warriors' mascot might be a goner. Thunder is his name.

Thunder has been part of this franchise for some 12 years and his likeness is featured on the team's primary logo, though the team doesn't use that image much anymore.

Warriors team president Robert Rowell is willing to make the switch for the benefit of the other Thunder, formerly the Seattle SuperSonics. When the timing's right, that is.

"We're clearly going to do something to accommodate Oklahoma City and not have our mascot named Thunder," Rowell said. "For the sake of not making things confusing, we're going to do something. We just have to figure out a good exit strategy."

He just might have one -- leave Thunder in China during the team's upcoming trip to Asia.

"He might get lost in the crowd over in China," Rowell said. "There are 1.3 billion people there."

For about two years Golden State had been considering a rebranding of the club, Rowell said. So this may be the time to go forward with a new mascot after this season. The Warriors don't want to be without one this season.

"The other thing we were thinking is maybe we trade him to Oklahoma City for a mascot to be named later or something like that," Rowell cracked. "I know that Oklahoma City has already mentioned that their new mascot is in the works, so they're not going to have one when the season starts.

"We may trade Thunder's rights while he's in China -- though we'd have to go through NBA China to get approval on that. He may not get a ticket back with us, I don't know. We haven't figured it out."

Thunder is rarely seen on merchandise aside from a few children's items, Rowell said. In fact, his name and true identity are kept secret. He is acrobatic, muscular and faceless, with glowing blue skin and shiny eyes, a lightning bolt coming out of his head. He's been leaping off a trampoline during timeouts and jumping into sections of fans to say hello since 1997-98.

"Thunder doesn't comment," Rowell said. "Thunder's an outfit. Thunder doesn't get a vote. He's never been quoted. Thunder is a persona."

Thunder also has an official bio:

--Name: Thunder.

--Height: Stands above the clouds.

--Weight: Lighter than air.

--First Appearance: June 19, 1997, during a sudden cloud burst.

--Birthplace: Upper Atmosphere University.

--Drafted By: Golden State Warriors, first round, 1997 mascot supplemental draft.

--How acquired: Recruited by a Warriors talent scout, via worldwide search.

--Miscellaneous: Full name is ThunderBolt. Parents are Brenda Bolt and Charles Charger.

Chris Mullin, Golden State's executive vice president of basketball operations, played his final season for the Warriors during 2000-01 when Thunder was around. But soon Thunder may be no more.

"That's show business," he said. "They should do [the trade] in midair off the trampoline."

thundernf3.jpg

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Trade Thunder to the Thunder for the rights to the old Supersonics uniform template.

Whats about a NBA mascot trade. Thunder for the right to Squatch (Sonics Mascot)

sonics.jpg

Squatch will refuse to cheer for the Thunder.

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Trade Thunder to the Thunder for the rights to the old Supersonics uniform template.

Whats about a NBA mascot trade. Thunder for the right to Squatch (Sonics Mascot)

sonics.jpg

Squatch will refuse to cheer for the Thunder.

No since Squatch allegedly refuses to report to OKC (j/k), trade him to Golden State for Thunder. Thunder cheer for Thunder, Squatch cheer for the Warriors

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I'm really amused at the way they're going about that. They're treating the mascot as a player (sort of) and either "abandoning him" overseas or "trading him" so that confusion is lessened, and a mascot has, keeps, and continues a backstory. Something fun for the kiddies to hear about.

And while we're at it, I have to say I kinda like "Squatch," odd-sounding name aside. (I get the reference, but what it winds up sounding like seems a little un-PC even for the NBA.) However, my main thoughts upon seeing that pic? CHEWIE!

Hard to believe that an iconic Star Wars character would need more work on the side...

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Poor Thunder. He's been one of my favorite mascots since the All-Star game was in Denver. We were at the NBA All-Star fanfest thing and we were watching, I think, a street game that they were having going on at the court there and they kept giving away tickets and whatnot... so we kept bothering the lady giving the tickets away for tickets to the rookie/sophomore game, but she wouldn't give them to us. When Thunder went walking right in front of us, we stopped him and asked him to get us the tickets... he somehow managed to get some tickets off of her and came back a few minutes later and gave them to us. Ever since then he's been one of my favorites.

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