You Will Lose Your Mind at How Much NBA Mascots Make a Year

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky the Mountain Lion

David Zalubowski/AP

Becoming an NBA mascot is — surprisingly — a decent way to make a living.

A recent report revealed the league’s top-earning mascots for the 2022-2023 season, and the figures are staggering.

Topping the list this season was Rocky, the mascot of the Denver Nuggets. While the Nuggets had just 16 nationally-televised games in the regular season — a little over half as much as the Golden State Warriors’ 30 — the team is still able to pay Rocky $625,000 annually.

Not far behind Rocky is Harry the Hawk, the official mascot of the Atlanta Hawks, with $600,000. Chicago’s legendary Benny the Bull finished third with $400,000.

Go the Gorilla — another iconic mascot who pioneered the modern mascot act with the inclusion of trampoline dunks and other acrobatic routines — was paid $200,000 by the Phoenix Suns.

Rounding out the year’s top-five was Hugo the Hornet. The Charlotte Hornets paid Hugo $100,000 for their services.

Even outside of those top five earners, being an NBA mascot pays fairly well. Rocky’s $625,000 salary is reportedly 10 times higher than the league average, meaning the rest of the league averages somewhere in the neighborhood of $62,000. And that figure is nearly double the amount NBA dancers make, according to AS.

So, for those unsure of their current direction in life, it may be wise to work on their aim with a t-shirt gun.

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