An article from the Tampa Bay Times published in 2006 states that about 80 percent of the NBA teams, including the Orlando Magic, hire full-time employees to play mascots, with the starting annual salary in the $40,000-$45,000 range. "Because of the physical nature, they're much like an athlete. They push the limit of entertainment and take more physical risks, whether they're on roller blades or being in a giant slingshot and being shot down the court."
The average salary for professional mascot jobs is $26,000, but it can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.
Of interest, "STUFF" the Magic Dragon, Orlando Magic was named the 2016 NBA Mascot of the Year. STUFF’s complete arsenal was on full display on the last season with highlights including a death-defying back flip off a ladder through an inflatable hoop, an Academy Award-like performance in his trampoline symphony skit and his unique “What STUFF Does” video.
Though some may find them annoying, there's no denying that mascots are just plain awesome. Whether they're firing up the fans, wreaking havoc in the stands or just flat-out being silly, these characters represent their teams well and are beloved by many.
That being said, let's take a look at all 30 NBA mascots, ranking them from worst to first at Bleacher Report.