Clippers unveil new mascot named Chuck
LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers have unveiled a new mascot: Chuck the California Condor.
The bird made its entry at halftime of Monday night's game against Brooklyn. It was lowered from the rafters at Staples Center with the arena lights off.
Chuck is gray with a pink head, a large blue nose, wears a Clippers cape and has a red-and-white helmet that he removes.
''It's like us. It used to be extinct and now it's coming back,'' coach Doc Rivers said.
Team owner Steve Ballmer personally introduced the bird, which danced, did flips and dunked with the help of a trampoline.
The crowd was underwhelmed in its response until Ballmer announced that fans would receive a free pair of red Converse sneakers if the owner could successfully dunk. Ballmer did so using the trampoline and the crowd roared.
''In today's world, they're going to make fun of it for six months and then they're going to get over it,'' Rivers said.
The Clippers were one of four NBA teams without a mascot. Years ago, they had one named Sam Dunk when the franchise was located in San Diego.
Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford were supportive of the mascot, believing it will get kids more involved.
''I know my son will love it,'' Crawford said. ''I hope my daughter's not scared.''
The condor is the state bird of California.