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(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Rocky the Mountain Lion is collecting the bag from the Denver Nuggets

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It seems like Rocky gets the bag

Whoever suits up as Rocky the Mountain Lion, the mascot for the Denver Nuggets, must live a pretty good life.

Imagine your job consisting of interacting with fans while inside a costume and attending NBA games for free. It sounds like quite the career.

While appearances at NBA games are not Rocky’s only task — rates are available online for if you want to book the mascot for an event — it is not cheap to have the mascot make an appearance at a birthday party, bar mitzvah and more. Those appointment fees probably help factor into why Rocky is apparently the highest paid mascot in the NBA.

If reports are true, Rocky’s $625,000 annual salary would earn ten times the average salary of an NBA mascot. The next highest-paid mascots in the league are Atlanta’s Harry the Hawk ($600,000) and Chicago’s Benny the Bull ($400,000).

The league-topping salary is certainly not for nothing, as basketball fans named Rocky the best in the business in a recent poll.

Is it worth it?

I can imagine that working as a mascot must be stressful. A fun fact about me is that my college actually offered me the role to be their mascot for the college basketball teams. However, I declined. You would probably need to be quite the introvert to wear a huge costume for many hours and uphold a code of silence with hundreds of fans trying to meet you.

Look, there are obviously positions in society that deserve the salary they earn. But I don’t think that six figures is an outrageous wage to give mascots, especially when they work for professional teams in packed stadiums with millions watching from home. They should be expected to do a good job.

You can say what you want about Rocky and his salary. All I can say is that I hope Rocky gives good vibes over to the Denver Nuggets. They have some considerable expectations heading into the new season and we’ll have to see if their play can reflect the quality of their mascot.


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