NBA

Miami Heat mascot attends hospital after Conor McGregor punch – reports

By Sports Desk June 11, 2023

The Miami Heat mascot reportedly had to attend hospital after being punched by Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor at basketball’s NBA finals.

What was a promotional stunt during game four between the Heat and Denver Nuggets ended badly as former UFC champion McGregor floored ‘Burnie’, who was wearing oversized boxing gloves, with a left hook before adding another punch as the stricken Miami mascot lay on his back.

‘Burnie’ – who is described as a “rough, anthropomorphic depiction of the fireball featured on the Heat’s logo” – was dragged off court by three people and it was later reported that the individual inside the mascot suit was taken to the emergency room of a nearby hospital for treatment.

The Heat have declined to comment on the incident, but it has been reported that the mascot is out of hospital and recovering.

The Miami Herald said that “the man behind the Burnie costume has never revealed his name publicly and the team does not identify him in its media guide”.

McGregor, who was booed by many in the Miami crowd even before walking on court, stayed for the entire game as the Nuggets won 108-95 to secure a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

UFC president Dana White questioned the practice of mascots taking punches from “professional fighters”, highlighting the 2018 incident when former world heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder was invited to show his punching power on a hot-dog like creature.

Asked about the McGregor incident at the UFC 289 post-fight press conference, White said: “I saw the Deontay Wilder one too.

“What’s up with mascots getting punched in the face by professional fighters? What do you expect?

“What are those mascot things made out of? Unless you’re like the Golden Knights mascot…with a metal helmet…

“I wouldn’t have professional fighters punch me in the face if I was a mascot, doesn’t seem like the brightest thing in the world.”

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