Gorilla Inducted Into Mascot Hall of Fame
Long considered the best mascot in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla has now received the ultimate honor – getting inducted into the inaugural class of the Mascot Hall of Fame during a ceremony today in Philadelphia.
The Gorilla joins the Philadelphia Phillies Phanatic and The Famous Chicken as the Hall’s first class of inductees, which was chosen from a list of 14 finalists. That list included famous names such as Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald and Rocky of the Denver Nuggets.
“The Mascot Hall of Fame has been created to honor great mascot performers, performances, and character branding programs that have inspired tradition and positively affected their communities,” said Hall founder Dave Raymond. “The Suns Gorilla epitomizes the profound impact that a mascot can have on an organization and the greater community.”
To be eligible, a mascot must have been in existence at least 10 years, have had a major impact on their sport, industry and community, and have had a consistent performance that is both memorable and groundbreaking.
“The Gorilla’s been a Hall of Famer to Suns fans for many years,” said Suns managing partner Robert Sarver, who participated in the induction ceremony. “His induction into the inaugural class of the Mascot Hall of Fame merely confirms what we have always believed – The Gorilla is the best mascot of all time.”
The Gorilla becomes the third member of the Suns family to achieve Hall of Fame status in the past 12 months. Suns Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Colangelo was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2004, while “The Voice of the Phoenix Suns”, Al McCoy, was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in October.
In addition to Sarver, the Gorilla was also joined at the induction ceremony by Suns legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins, Cedric Ceballos and several Suns Dancers. Suns.com also tagged along and will bring you exclusive video, photos and more later this week.