Two time NBA champion Lamar Odom intimated this week he believes the Phoenix Suns’ gorilla mascot is racist, pointing out such animals are not found in the desert.
During an appearance on the Bootleg Kev podcast, the host said he was a Suns fan and they have been “dealing with the cheapest owner in basketball” for quite a while.
“Well I feel bad for the Suns fans because they ain’t never gonna get, probably, what y’all deserve probably until you change the mascot,” Odom replied:
When the host asked if he did not like the gorilla, Odom shook his head and said, “No, bro.”
“Do you think there’s like some racial connotations with the Suns’ gorilla?” the host inquired, to which Odom replied, “Come on, bro. The thing that’s funny is they kinda like slid that one by for all these years. Nobody like says anything about that. Gorillas in the desert… you can’t find any. You could probably find a cactus.”
Lamar Odom says the Phoenix Sun’s mascot is racist. “Gorillas, in the desert, you can’t find any. You could probably find a cactus” pic.twitter.com/NUSSb0j2iP
— No Jumper (@nojumper) November 26, 2022
According to SportsKeeda, the Suns did not have a mascot until 1980 when a fan showed up at the arena wearing a gorilla suit and was invited to entertain the audience.
“After some time of putting on the schtick, the Gorilla was named the team’s official mascot,” the website said.
In 2021, the “Original Gorilla,” Henry Rojas, shared his story with 12 News:
Rojas told the outlet odd things happened when he was on the court.
“I would polish the three point line when we needed one shot and they’d hit the shot,” he recalled.
While speaking of the mascot’s origins recently, Odom claimed, “What’s really crazy about it is that it was a… they just tried it because they wanted to get some fans involved and that’s the reason why they kept it because the fans loved it,” he continued, adding he believes it is “not good representation.”