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Clippings: Chuck the Condor had a raucous (half) birthday party

Any excuse to celebrate, right?

Memphis Grizzlies v LA Clippers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

The Clippers ended their losing streak Sunday, but the game itself wasn’t that pretty as both the home team and the Mavericks struggled through mostly lethargic offensive performances.

The person who looked like he was having the most fun on the court was actually Chuck the Condor, the Clippers mascot who was celebrating his half birthday during the matinee game. The in-arena broadcast occasionally referred to the event as his 6th birthday, but the semantics are unnecessary — the point is, Chuck had a party, and it was the best part of Clippers vs. Mavericks.

Chuck’s invited guests included his younger brother Kid Condor of the Agua Caliente Clippers, Rampage of the Los Angeles Rams, Bailey from the Los Angeles Kings, Hip Hop Harry, and a litany of fellow NBA mascots: Hugo the Hornet, Harry the Hawk, Blaze the Trail Cat, Jazz Bear, Franklin (from the 76ers), and Burnie (of the Miami Heat).

Who among us hasn’t wanted a birthday party where eight of your closest friends — several of whom have traveled in from around the country — lift you up so you can enter a room weightless and pretending to fly?

The fun was just getting started. Chuck had choreographed a dance routine for him and his mascot friends to “Turn Down For What”, which included a show-stopping finish to “Cake” by Rihanna. If you think I’m overstating the magnitude of this performance, consider that the Clippers went into that second-quarter timeout trailing by nine; following the mascot dance, they went on a 16-8 run in just under five minutes to close the half.

At halftime, Chuck and the NBA mascots (except for Blaze, unfortunately) embarked on their own version of the crate challenge, as each was tasked with ascending a staircase of crates and then dunking a basketball. The remaining mascots served as judges of the pseudo dunk contest.

The individual mascots each had varying levels of success, with some wiping out after a few steps (I’m looking at you, Hugo), while others seemingly sandbagged their attempt. Seriously, what other explanation is there for Jazz Bear simply forgetting how to dunk at the final step? Franklin got the raw end of the deal, as his staircase was missing a step, and he stumbled on the misaligned crates. The dog still managed to throw the ball into the hoop, evoking memories of 2008 slam dunk champion (and former 76er!) Dwight Howard.

But all of those gaffes merely set the stage for Chuck’s shining moment, as the birthday boy climbed his tower en route to a dunk that was the icing on the cake for the whole event. It’s once again worth mentioning that the Clippers, who were trailing at the half, built a double-digit lead less than halfway through the third quarter after Chuck’s crowning achievement.

Chuck has had his fair share of questionable antics over the years, but the dude knows how to throw a party. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t enjoy the show he and his friends put on Sunday.

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