clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

His Name was Sam Dunk

New, comment
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reached out to the person that played the part of the original Los Angeles Clippers mascot, Mark Monninger. Monninger played Sam Dunk at Clippers home games for a little over one season, and wasn't the most successful or memorable mascot of all time.

Bolch shares some of Monninger's moments as the team's mascot, like the time that he held up a Boston Celtic banner, and the crowd at the Sports Arena (the Clippers home at the time) cheered.  There is also the time that he tried to make a half court shot during a timeout. After the second miss, a ref grabbed the ball from him, and the fans cheered:

That earned Sam, a.k.a. Mark Monninger in real life, a trip to the office of the Clippers' general manager at the time, Carl Scheer. No more half-court shots, Sam was told.

"It's bad enough my team is beaten and getting booed - I can deal with that," Monninger recalled Scheer Telling him, "but I can't have the mascot getting booed."

And, what about the time he grabbed a young woman from the court-side seats to dance with him, only to be rejected. Oh, and he also broke her bracelet. To make matters worse, the woman he was trying to dance with was Shelly Sterling. Yes, the wife of then Clippers owner Donald Sterling:

"They said, 'Don't worry, she thought it was funny and they're OK," Monninger recalled, "but be very careful who you pick out."

Check out the rest of the article to learn a little more about the original Clippers mascot here.