NBA Mascot Rocky Of The Denver Nuggets Makes $625,000 A Year & The Internet Simply Can’t Believe It

Denver Nuggets NBA
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Apparently it doesn’t pay too bad to dress up in an eccentric animal costume for a living…

The Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat are set to face off in Game 1 of the NBA Finals tonight. The high-stakes seven game series will crown the league’s best team of this season and decide which franchise gets to take home the coveted Larry O’Brien championship trophy.

It’ll be a heavyweight matchup between the gracefully clumsy Nikola Jokic-led Nuggets and the scrappy underdog Heat team captained by country-music-loving superstar Jimmy Butler.

If you happen to tune into the game, make sure to keep an eye out for the Denver Nuggets’ mountain lion mascot Rocky, and just know that whoever is inside that mascot suit is doing very, very (very) well financially.

To the disbelief of pretty much everyone, the Nuggets’ Rocky is the highest paid NBA mascot, raking in $625,000 dollars a year.

Maybe I should send in an application next year…

Rocky doesn’t just get the money for clapping hands and hyping the crowd up. Though he’s good at those things, the mountain lion has long been considered one of the best mascots in all of the land because of its over-the-top stunts that it pulls off during the games.

The Nuggets’ fearless animal leader was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006, solidifying its legacy and justifying the paycheck. If you were wondering, the next highest paid mascot is Benny the Bull of the Chicago Bulls at $400,000 a year. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but still not up there in terms of Rocky’s impressive salary.

And speaking of salary, I thought I would gather together a list of professions that surprisingly don’t make as much as this animal costume wearing individual. Most of them actually don’t even amount to half of Rocky’s salary in a year:

  • Cardiologist = $354,000 per year
  • Anesthesiologist = $331,000 per year
  • Surgeon = $297,000 per year
  • 94 NBA players with annual contracts less than $625K per year

That means that someone rostered on an NBA team could be sitting at the end of the bench, looking at Rocky, and saying:

“That thing makes more than I do.”


But you know what else is unbelievable? Rocky the Mountain Lion’s impressive stunts.

Just take a look at this death-defying, ladder-standing, backwards half court shot that he landed during halftime of a Nuggets game:

If Rocky is doing stuff like that day in and day out, maybe there should be some conversations about the mascot possibly even being underpaid…

There were certainly some conversations and salary negotiations after the person within the Rocky costume passed out when being rappelled from the rafters onto the court back in 2013.

This moment went mega-viral 10 years ago (how are we a decade removed from 2013 already?):

So yeah, after that, maybe the annual salary got rightfully pushed up a bit.

Social media simply couldn’t wrap their heads around the Denver Nuggets mascot being paid more than half a million dollars a year, and swiftly sounded off in the comments with reactions:


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock