Utah Jazz: Jazz Bear returns to the top, earns third Mascot of the Year Award

Utah Jazz (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Utah Jazz (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Jazz Bear, the Utah Jazz mascot, took home the 2017-18 Mascot of the Year Award for the third time in his illustrious career.

The Utah Jazz didn’t have a single All-Star this last season. In fact, they were the only playoff team that didn’t have one. That would mean, of course, that they didn’t even come anywhere close to having an MVP candidate.

Such a day may very well come where both awards become reality considering the greatness of both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. However, the wait is officially over for the Jazz taking home an arguably even greater prize. The coveted MOY Award. What is that, you ask?

Mascot of the Year.

OK, so even arguably it’s not nearly as great as an All-Star selection or the MVP Award being handed to a Jazzman, but it’s still pretty sweet, right?

If you’ve ever been to a Jazz game, you know all too well just how exciting Jazz Bear makes the game atmosphere. From hilarious antics, to jaw-dropping stunts to unmatched crowd pump-ups during timeouts, seeing the Jazz mascot in action is one of the highlights of viewing a game live.

And as such, he was rewarded with the 2017-18 Mascot of the Year Award. This is the third time that Jazz Bear has earned that recognition since the award was started in 2005, winning in both 2006 and 2008.

Bear was able to beat out the Orlando Magic’s Stuff the Magic Dragon who had held the title previously for two years running. After his appearance in my personal favorite dunk-contest dunk of this generation in 2016, the one where Aaron Gordon skied over him, I won’t argue with Stuff earning the prize those years. But I’m also glad to see the trophy back where it belongs, in the paws of the beloved Jazz Bear.

According to UtahJazz.com, Bear also took home two additional awards at this year’s NBA Mascot Conference–

"Bear’s virtual reality trip into the world of the Jedi, a video produced by the Utah Jazz Digital Team, earned the NBA’s Mascot Video of the Year. And for the ninth time in his career, Bear was given the Mascot Leadership Award for his willingness to mentor and help other mascots around the league."

The winning video can be found below–

It’s also pretty sweet that Jazz Bear has been recognized so many times for the Mascot Leadership Award. Not only is he a great mascot, but it’s apparent that he’s a great person as well, open and willing to share his time and effort with others aspiring to reach his heights.

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Seeing Jazz Bear dominate the mascot ranks makes me even more proud to be a Jazz fan. The Utah Jazz may not have received as much on-court hardware as fans would’ve liked this year, but that’s certain to change in upcoming seasons, and at a bare minimum, we can take solace in knowing our mascot game is atop the charts.

Next time the resident Laker fan in your office wants to trash talk your fandom and starts arguing rings, go ahead and ask them how many Mascot of the Year Awards his/her team has won. That’ll show ’em!