Down to their last breath against the Nikola Jokić-led Denver Nuggets, the Miami Heat can’t like their chances heading into Monday night’s NBA Finals Game 5. However, if the Heat do live to see another day, forcing a Game 6 on their home court Thursday night, their beloved mascot Burnie will be ready to roll.
If you missed it Friday night, Burnie found himself on the receiving end of a stunt gone wrong, taking an absolute beating at the hands of UFC legend Conor McGregor, who was at the game on behalf of TIDL Sport, a “plant-powered” cryotherapy spray used for pain relief.
In the aftermath, Burnie was taken to a local hospital, where doctors treated him for minor injuries.
— Overtime (@overtime) June 10, 2023
“That’s the Miami Heat toughness we’re talking about,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told the media at Sunday’s press conference. “We won’t reveal who that is, but he can take a punch and get back up. He’s not going to miss any time.”
Erik Spoelstra asked about Burnie the mascot taking a punch from Connor McGregor but being ready for next game:
“That’s the Miami Heat toughness we’re talking about.” 😂 pic.twitter.com/nYlN1BdkB7
— Will Manso (@WillManso) June 11, 2023
The Heat can only hope to be as resilient as their mascot, surviving a pair of ruthless body blows from one of the most feared fighters in UFC.
While not impossible, the odds are not in Miami’s favor with only 13 instances in NBA history of a team overcoming a 3-1 series deficit. Only once has that happened in the Finals, with the Cleveland Cavaliers stunning the Golden State Warriors in 2016.