Unless you’re a fan of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, or the Brooklyn Nets, the team mascot is probably a fun part of your NBA game day experience. 

During the games, you might spot them in the crowds. More often than not, between periods, you’ll witness them running some kind of game on the court for fans or even performing some incredible stunt. 

This season, the NBA raised its minimum player salary mark to $1.1 million, making it exceed the $1 million-mark for the first time in the league’s history. 

So, do any of the mascots make enough to come close to this sum? You’d be surprised, and best of all, there are seemingly accurate salary figures reported to dig into!

How Much Does the Average NBA Mascot Make?

The average NBA mascot was revealed to make around $60,000 per year, according to mascot training company Raymond Entertainment. 

Over the course of a season, NBA mascots are expected to be at the ready for all of their team’s 41 home games, which makes the average pay-per-game rate close to $1,463.

As NBA games tend to run for around two hours, add on around an hour for the fans before and after the buzzers, and you’re looking at around $366 per hour. That is, if extra appearances and practice aren’t included in the salary.

So, even if you’re watching one of the teams who’re right up against it in the NBA odds, you can enjoy the mascot performances knowing that they’re pretty well compensated as far as additional performers go in major league sports. 

Which is the Highest Earning NBA Mascot?

The highest-earning NBA mascot right now is Rocky the Mountain Lion, the mascot of the Denver Nuggets. According to reports, Rocky rakes in a mighty $625,000 each year.

Rocky’s not the only one in the six-figure bracket, either. Just behind the Nuggets’ performer is that of the Atlanta Hawks. Harry the Hawk gets $600,000 annually from the NBA franchise.

After those two, Benny the Bull comes in third, being paid $400,000 for their ever-eye-catching performances for the Chicago Bulls. 

Next, it’s Go the Gorilla (Phoenix Suns, $200,000) and then Hugo the Hornet (Charlotte Hornets, $100,000). 

Perhaps Rocky might be in line for a big bonus this season, too. In the betting markets, the Denver Nuggets are just marginally behind the favourites, the Boston Celtics, to win the NBA Championship at +400. 

NBA Mascots on Social Media

When it comes to NBA mascots flexing their muscles on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and X, there’s only one true champion: Benny the Bull. 

The Chicago Bulls mascot is very clearly the second-most followed major league sports mascot in North America.

They may be over 2 million followers behind Blue of the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL, but The Bull still commands an army of over 6 million fans.

Next among NBA mascots is Jazz Bear of the Utah Jazz, who appears to ignore Facebook entirely, not bother too much with X, but does boast over 500,000 followers on TikTok alone. Still, their 550,000 followers is well short of Benny the Bull.

With social media, NBA mascots can earn more money and further promote their respective teams and big events going on at the stadium. Mascots can also charge for attending private events or get paid more by the team for an extra booking. 

On average, an NBA mascot can hope to earn around $60,000 per year, but if you’re at the right team and put on a great show, you can aspire to earn as much as Rocky at $625,000 annually.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to Alamy*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.