Robin Lopez has made a name for himself in the NBA for having a weird grudge against mascots without any apparent reason. However, it appears that there is an origin to it.
Robin has had the career of an NBA journeyman, never sticking to one team for too long, and never reaching that true ‘star’ distinction. Throughout his career, Robin has played for seven different NBA teams.
He’s had some very memorable moments during his years, particularly some very entertaining ones with team mascots as he finds some way to beef with them.
— Shaqtin’ a Fool (@shaqtin) August 31, 2019
Robin Lopez Explains Where His Hatred For NBA Mascots Comes From
Before the Oklahoma City Thunder were the team they are now, they used to be the Seattle SuperSonics. However, in 2008, the team would relocate to Oklahoma City and took on the Thunder as their team name.
Before that, however, the name ‘Thunder’ was completely up for grabs around the league in whatever aspect. The Golden State Warriors, playing to their lightning bolt logo, adopted the name ‘Thunder’ for their team mascot.
Eventually, they changed the name as the SuperSonics became the Thunder, but it’s still an interesting bit of NBA history to remember.
10/2/2008 – The Warriors announce they will retire team mascot “Thunder” after the former SuperSonics will assume the name Thunder In Oklahoma City. pic.twitter.com/OTcL2xL8Qi
— This Day in Suck (@Thisdayinsuck) October 2, 2018
While ‘Thunder’ seemed like the perfect mascot for the Warriors, Lopez’s beef with NBA mascots stems from an incident involving him. Mascots usually like to play around with NBA fans, messing with them and doing things that are sometimes only excusable because of the fact that they’re mascots. Just ask ‘Benny the Bull.’
Benny the Bull a savage.pic.twitter.com/lq8zpX6066
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) April 11, 2016
‘Thunder’ was no different. Lopez was at a Warriors game in 3rd or 4th grade, and he went up to the mascot for an autograph. Due to a speech impediment, Lopez pronounced his name as ‘Wobin’, something the mascot made fun of. And there’s your origin story for Lopez’s beef with mascots.
[Robin Lopez on the origin of his hatred for mascots] “3rd or 4th grade. Thunder (Warriors mascot) asked for my name. I had a speech impediment and said ‘Wobin’. And he signed it ‘To Robin – where’s the W?’” via /r/nba https://t.co/LNGP8YwmTi
— /r/MemphisGrizzlies (@RedditGrizzlies) September 1, 2021